Kevin O’Brien was the star with a world record ton when Ireland registered their famous victory over England in a 329-run chase of the 2011 World Cup in the Indian sub-continent.
Ireland have been around in world cricket for over two decades and another chapter has been added to their folklore after they stunned the world champions yet again in another mammoth 329-run chase to pull off a consolation victory in a series they ultimately lost 2-1.
Every single member of the playing squad is a hero when the minnows sting the giants. But a team needs an architect to lay the foundation for victory. If 2011 was the story about Kevin O’Brien and Ireland, Tuesday’s victory was built around opener Paul Stirling who punished the erratic English bowlers in a match-winning 214-run partnership with skipper Andy Balbirnie.
Both the batsmen hit centuries before O’Brien Harry Tector (29) and Kevin (21) took the Irish across the finishing line with a 50-run partnership for the fourth wicket as they reached 329-3 with one ball to spare.
Stirling was the hero as he clobbered 142 from 128 balls in an innings that included nine fours and six sixes. Babbirnie played a second fiddle scoring 113 from 112 with 12 hits to the fence.
England’s total was built around an 84-ball 106 from skipper Eoin Morgan. The captain struck 15 fours and four sixes. Tom Banton (58 off 51) and David Wiley (42-ball 51) were other notable scorers for England in their 328 all out from 49.5 overs.
Ireland’s 5 other biggest victories in cricket history
Versus Pakistan in 2007 World Cup (Kingston, West Indies)
Pakistan 132 all out in 45.4 overs
(K Akmal 27, I Nazir 24, Extras 29; B Rankin 3-32, A Botha 2-5, K McCallan 2-12)
Ireland 133-7 in 41.4 overs
N O’Brien 72, K O’Brien 16 not out; M Sami 3-29, I Anjum 2-29)
Versus England in 2011 World Cup (Bengaluru, India)
England 327-8 in 50 overs
(J Trott 92, I Bell 81, K Pietersen 59; J Mooney 4-63, T Johnston 2-58)
Ireland 329-7 in 49.1 overs
K O’Brien 113, A Cusack 47, J Mooney 33; G Swann 3-47, J Anderson 1-49)
Versus West Indies in 2015 World Cup (Nelson, New Zealand)
West Indies 304-7 in 50 overs
L Simmon 102, D Sammy 89, C Gayle 36; G Dockrell 3-50, K O’Brien 1-71)
Ireland 307-6 in 45.5 overs
P Stirling 92, E Joyce 84, N O’Brien 79; J Taylor 3-71, C Gayle 1-41)
Versus West Indies in 1st T20I in 2014 (Kingston, West Indies)
West Indies 116-8 in 20 overs
C Gayle 18, L Simmon 16, M Samuel 16; T Murtagh 2-28, A Cusack 2-17, K O’Brien 2-17)
Ireland 117-4 in 19.1 overs
E Joyce 40 not out, A Poynter 32; S Badree 2-18, S Narine 1-16)
Versus West Indies in 1st T20I in 2020 (St George’s, West Indies)
Ireland 208-7 in 20 overs
P Stirling 95, K O’Brien 48; D Bravo 2-28, S Cottrell 2-37, K Pierre 2-45)
West Indies 204-7 in 20 overs
E Lewis 53, K Pollard 31; J Little 3-29, C Young 2-31)