Kevin O'Brien slams ton in Ireland's inaugural Test

Kevin O'Brien slams ton in Ireland's inaugural Test

Kevin O'Brien (118*) became the first man to make a Test fifty for Ireland with Thompson (51) following him to the milestone before getting a ripper from Shadab Khan that disturbed his stumps.

Pakistan had hoped for an early finish after a disastrous beginning to their Test career from Ireland but they looked like a resurgent side as the second innings began and O'Brien has made sure that it is one to remember.

Nearly five hours later, when he reached three figures, O'Brien - at 34 the third oldest of the 105 players to score a century on Test debut - had faced 186 balls and hit 10 boundaries and Ireland were 116 runs in front.

Pakistan declared their first innings on 310-9 early on day three.

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

"It's a very proud and emotional moment", said O'Brien. But left-arm quick Amir was back on the field from the start of Monday's fourth day.

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However, O'Brien - who blazed the fastest-ever World Cup hundred, off 50 balls, against England in Bengaluru in 2011 - put on 114 with Stuart Thompson (53) for the seventh wicket and then an unbroken 48 with Tyrone Kane (8no off 67), during which time he sealed his century by hitting Amir through point for two.

It wasn't for want of trying but insane running continued to be a feature of the first hour of the day with Niall fortunate that a throw missed the stumps as he dived in to avoid being the second player to get a pair. His first 14 Tests saw Amir take 51 wickets at just a fraction over 23 runs apiece, but his 16 completed Tests since his comeback yielded 44 wickets at a more expensive average of 37.25.

Two of O'Brien's stumps were uprooted, and leg almost came out too, before Amir finally found Porterfield's outside edge after several near misses, with Sarfraz Ahmed taking a smart catch to send back Ireland's captain for 32.

At that stage, Amir had taken two wickets for no runs in six balls. Ireland has a lead of 139 runs and its three wickers are remaining.

When Thompson did eventually fall, less cool heads than O'Brien might have anxious about their tilt at three figures, as it was he placed full faith in Tyrone Kane, the pair picking up exactly where Ireland had left off. When Amir removed Gary Wilson (12), caught by Haris Sohail in the slips, and Paul Stirling (11) was trapped lbw by Mohammad Abbas, Pakistan were close to clinching victory.

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