Yesterday Kevin O’Brien joined an elite list of cricketers to have scored hundreds in all three formats of international cricket.
His 62-ball 124 against Hong Kong was Ireland’s first century in T20Is, and ensured a spot in the record books as he joined the likes of Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle in having achieved the triple of a century in each of Tests, ODIs, and T20Is.
His first international ton came less than a year after his Ireland debut, smacking 142 from only 125 balls against Kenya during the ICC World Cricket League Division One. More memorable for many was his 113 against England just over four years later, at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2011, when he took Ireland from seemingly down and out to a famous final over victory.
O’Brien has recently made the move to opening in T20s, and was extremely happy to have registered Ireland’s maiden T20I century from his new position. However, he is already looking ahead to Ireland’s next challenge: “It’s obviously a very proud moment to score the first T20I century for Ireland. I’m very happy with the way it’s turning out since moving to the top of the order, and hopefully the form can continue for the next 2 to 3 weeks leading into the World Cup Qualifier.”
During their inaugural Test in May of last year O’Brien also became Ireland’s maiden Test centurion finishing with 118 in their second innings against Pakistan. In addition to this unique double of maiden Test and T20I centuries for his country, he joins a list of just 13 other players to have scored a ton in all three international formats, the full list being: Rohit Sharma, Glenn Maxwell, Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Martin Guptill, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ahmed Shehzad, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tamim Iqbal, Suresh Raina, Mahela Jayawardene, and now Kevin O’Brien.
He scored his country's first ever Test century and now he has scored their first ever T20I 💯— ICC (@ICC) October 7, 2019
His blazing 62-ball 124 powered his side to 208/5 – their third highest T20I total – against Hong Kong 🔥
What an amazing servant Kevin O'Brien has been to Irish cricket 🙌 pic.twitter.com/ffltoQB0Ea
Despite his new illustrious company O’Brien is focused on the task at hand, namely qualifying for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. He is confident of Ireland’s form going into the Qualifier despite a recent hiccup against Oman during their warm-ups, where Ireland lost by 43 runs.
“The squad is progressing nicely and, despite a little setback against Oman, all-in-all we’re playing some good cricket. We’re putting up some good totals, we’re fielding very well in most games, and we’re starting to improve slowly with the ball. We’ve still got three games before the first Qualifier match in Abu Dhabi, so if we can continue this trend we’ll be in a good position. Fingers crossed we can use the next three games as good preparation and look to win all three - they’ll be three tough games so we’ll have to play well.”
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