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Kevin O'Brien joins elite list of debutant heroes

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

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

Score Player (team) Opposition Year
165* Charles Bannerman (Australia) England 1877
145 Aminul Islam (Bangladesh) India 2000
121 Dave Houghton (Zimbabwe) India 1992
118 Kevin O'Brien (Ireland) Pakistan 2018


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 

Players Match Innings Wicket Runs
Dave Houghton, Andy Flower Zim v Ind 1 6 165
Kevin O'Brien, Stuart Thompson Ire v Pak 3 7 114
Kevin Arnott, Grant Flower Zim v Ind 1 1 100
Ranjan Madugalle, Arjuna Ranatunga SL v Eng 1 5 99
Aminul Islam, Khaled Mashud Ban v Ind 1 7 93


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

Player Teams
Billy Midwinter Australia and England
Billy Murdoch Australia and England
JJ Ferris Australia and England
Sammy Woods Australia and England
Frank Hearne England and South Africa
Albert Trott Australia and England
Frank Mitchell England and South Africa
Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi England and India
Gul Mohammad India and Pakistan
Abdul Hafeez Kardar India and Pakistan
Amir Elahi India and Pakistan
Sammy Guillen Windies and New Zealand
John Traicos South Africa and Zimbabwe
Kepler Wessels Australia and South Africa
Boyd Rankin England 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) Runs Opposition Venue Match Date
KS Ranjitsinhji (England) 154* Australia Manchester 16 July 1896
Collie Smith (Windies) 104 Australia Kingston 26 March 1955
Adrian Barath (Windies) 104 Australia Brisbane 26 November 2009
Kevin O’Brien (Ireland) 118 Pakistan Dublin 11 May 2018

 

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