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Ireland have emphatic win over oldest enemy

March 3, 2011

Yes!  We have done it! We have beaten England! And in a truly inspiring style. There are so many points to note about this win I barely know where to start…

Ireland’s bowling performance was not the key aspect of their win, however they did well to contain England to 327 when they could easily have reached 340 or 350. Trott’s brilliant 92 runs along with Ian Bell’s 81 helped massively to bring England up to this huge total. This first innings cannot be spoken about without a mention of John Mooney’s brilliant 4 wickets. He knew that in a powerplay, whilst you will give away some runs, the end of an innings is also an important time to try and take some wickets. This, is exactly what he did. Trent Johnston also palyed a part and finished with figures of 2-58 after 10 overs. This made him the first ever Irish bowler to take 50 ODI wickets.

And now onto that inspiring innings from larger than life Kevin O’Brien. How to describe his innings? Well the lead up to O’Brien was not ideal. Captain William Porterfield went out first ball. Then our next three batsmen scored 93 runs between them. This included Ed Joyce, in his first game against England since moving back to the green jersey. This game was surely going to be a test for him, however it was still a world cup game that Ireland needed to win, and I, as an Irish fan, had hoped that he would score more than 32 runs. Then, disapointingly, Gary Wilson came in and scored only 3 runs. So Ireland were left on 111-5 after 25 overs. We still needed to score 218 runs, and fast. But then Kevin O’Brien came to the crease. He straight away scored boundaries, and gave the Irish fans something to cheer about. For a while it seemed like O’Brien, and Cusack at the other end, were going to save Ireland from being embarrassed. But suddenly, a glimmer of hope arised. We started to think we could actually win. Us. Ireland. An associate nation. We were chasing the highest ever run chase in world cup cricket history, against England. And we started to think we could do it. Kevin O’Brien scored the fastest ever century in history, off only 50 balls. His name is going down in the record books. A key moment of this amazing 6th wicket partnership, the highest ever 6th wicket partnership in world cup history, was Alex Cusack’s run out. Cusack saw that either he or O’Brien was going to be run out, and instead of letting Ireland lose O’Brien, he sacrificed his own wicket. Cusack finished on 47 runs, just 3 runs off his half century. It would have been his first ever half century, and yet he gave it up for the sake of the game. So out goes Cusack and in comes John Mooney. Of course the wicket came as a slight knock to our confidence, and for a moment we feared if the team might lose their nerve. However Mooney picks up straight were Cusack left off and settled into the game. Ireland were really getting into it, but with every ball, my heart was in my mouth with fear that the batsmen were going to crumble under the pressure. Yet they kept their cool and even when O’Brien did lose his wicket, he left Ireland in a position that we were still capable of winning the game. Trent Johnston came in, and with his first ball got right into the game by scoring a four boundary. Suddenly it was the final over, and Ireland needed 3 runs off 6 balls to win. John Mooney faces the first ball, and with nerves of steel gets the winning runs in one fluid motion. The crowd roars. The Irish team rush onto the pitch. The fans cheer, and some cry. We did it, we finally beat England at their own game.

It was a proud day to be Irish. Suddenly everyone was a cricket fan, and people are talking about cricket. Traditionally an unpopular sport, this emphatic win seems to have lifted the spirits of a country in the depths of depression. However. Ireland have only won one game, not the entire world cup. We must still win two more group games to qualify for the quarter finals. Our next match is against India this coming Sunday morning. We may not be able to win this game, but we can still take confidence going into the game. I can only hope that we will put up a fight, and not lose our momentum.

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