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Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien joins elite list of debutant heroes

Ire v Pak, stats

O'Brien-Thompson partnership another highlight from Ireland's maiden Test.

Ireland's maiden Test match may have ended in a five-wicket defeat to Pakistan but the 11th Test nation did make an impressive beginning.

Being asked to follow-on, after they were bowled out for 130 in reply to Pakistan's first-innings total of 310/9 declared at The Village in Malahide, Dublin, Ireland posted an impressive 339 in their second essay courtesy a fluent maiden Test century by Kevin O'Brien, who made 118.

In doing so, O'Brien became the fourth-highest individual scorer for a team in their debut Test. The three men above him on the list are Australia's Charles Bannerman, Zimbabwe's David Houghton and Bangladesh’s Aminul Islam.

Highest individual scores for a team in debut Test

ScorePlayer (team)OppositionYear
165*Charles Bannerman (Australia)England1877
145Aminul Islam (Bangladesh)India2000
121Dave Houghton (Zimbabwe)India1992
118Kevin O'Brien (Ireland)Pakistan2018

The seventh-wicket partnership of 114 runs between O'Brien and Stuart Thompson in Ireland's second innings was the second-highest partnership for a team in their maiden Test.

The record for the highest partnership for any wicket in a country's first-ever Test is held by Houghton and Andy Flower. They added 165 runs for the sixth wicket in the first innings of Zimbabwe's first-ever Test against India.

Highest partnerships in inaugural Test 

Dave Houghton, Andy FlowerZim v Ind16165
Kevin O'Brien, Stuart ThompsonIre v Pak37114
Kevin Arnott, Grant FlowerZim v Ind11100
Ranjan Madugalle, Arjuna RanatungaSL v Eng1599
Aminul Islam, Khaled MashudBan v Ind1793

O'Brien also became the most capped one-day international player for any team at the time of his Test debut. The 34-year-old had played 125 ODIs before his first Test, comfortably clear his teammate William Porterfield, who has played 119 ODIs.

Despite an impressive outing, Ireland lost their debut Test match against Pakistan
Despite an impressive outing, Ireland lost their debut Test match against Pakistan

Most ODIs at the time of Test debut

Player (team)ODIs
Kevin O'Brien (Ireland)125
William Porterfield (Ireland)119
Rohit Sharma (India)108
Niall O'Brien (Ireland)100
Suresh Raina (India)98

All Ireland players except Boyd Rankin made their Test debuts in the match. Rankin had already played ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals for England and Ireland as well as one Test for England. Rankin joined the list of cricketers – now 15 – who have played Tests for two nations.

Players who have played Test cricket for two nations

Billy MidwinterAustralia and England
Billy MurdochAustralia and England
JJ FerrisAustralia and England
Sammy WoodsAustralia and England
Frank HearneEngland and South Africa
Albert TrottAustralia and England
Frank MitchellEngland and South Africa
Iftikhar Ali Khan PataudiEngland and India
Gul MohammadIndia and Pakistan
Abdul Hafeez KardarIndia and Pakistan
Amir ElahiIndia and Pakistan
Sammy GuillenWindies and New Zealand
John TraicosSouth Africa and Zimbabwe
Kepler WesselsAustralia and South Africa
Boyd RankinEngland and Ireland

In the history of Test cricket, only four batsmen have scored centuries on debut with their teams asked to follow on and O'Brien is one of them.

Batsmen who have scored centuries in debut Tests with their teams following on

Player (team)RunsOppositionVenueMatch Date
KS Ranjitsinhji (England)154*AustraliaManchester16 July 1896
Collie Smith (Windies)104AustraliaKingston26 March 1955
Adrian Barath (Windies)104AustraliaBrisbane26 November 2009
Kevin O’Brien (Ireland)118PakistanDublin11 May 2018


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