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Friday 25 May 2018

O'Brien hits historic first test century

DELIGHT: Kevin O’Brien. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
DELIGHT: Kevin O’Brien. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

It was an historic day in Malahide for Kevin O'Brien as he finished day four of the test between Ireland and Pakistan on 118 not out.

It is the first test match century for Ireland, which helped them take a 139-run lead into day five, on 319-7 after 122 overs.

Ireland resumed on 64 without loss in their second innings, 116 behind Pakistan's first-innings total, but they lost Ed Joyce with just five more on the board when he was run out on 43 by Faheem Ashraf's direct-hit.

In the over after Joyce departed, Andrew Balbirnie suffered a pair, again falling lbw to Abbas.

Mohammad Amir's full delivery uprooted Niall O'Brien's off and middle stumps before Porterfield edged behind to Sarfraz off the same bowler. That left Ireland 95 for four, still 85 behind.

Deficit

Amir was taken out of the attack and left the field as Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien tried to dwindle down their side's deficit.

At lunch the hosts were 123 for four, still needing 57 more to reach Pakistan's first-innings total.

Abbas had another lbw appeal go in his favour to send back Stirling after lunch but Kevin O'Brien and Gary Wilson continued to bring the hosts closer to ensuring Pakistan would have to bat again.

However, that partnership was broken up by Amir, who claimed his 100th Test wicket when Wilson edged to first slip.

Stuart Thompson settled as the hosts moved ahead for the first time courtesy of Kevin O'Brien's edged four past the vacant second-slip. That took him to 48 and he became Ireland's first male test half-centurion with a single.

Pakistan took the new ball prior to tea, with Ireland leading by 13. But Kevin O'Brien and Thompson remained at the end of the second session, increasing their team's advantage to 32 thanks to a partnership worth 55.

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