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O'Brien targets World Cup repeat

Kevin O'Brien accepts he may never match the stunning century that helped Ireland to a famous World Cup win over England in March but has warned his side are more than capable of repeating the result.

O'Brien played one of the most memorable one-day innings in recent history when he smashed 113 in 63 balls in Bangalore, setting Ireland on the way to a three-wicket success. The all-rounder has gone on to show the same kind of destructive hitting intermittently with Gloucestershire and he believes Ireland have a real chance of another win.

"What I'd done didn't sink in for a while but it's good to look back on," he said of the fastest hundred in World Cup history. "You can always hope to play like that again. I don't know if I ever will again but it would be nice if I could do half as good a job on Thursday as I did in Bangalore."

He added: "Hopefully the team can do something similar, if not even better.

"That would be the ultimate, if we can play as well as we did in Bangalore and get another victory.

"We are a team who are full of confidence and we know we can beat anyone in the world on our day. There is a belief in this team that if we get ahead we can stay ahead and beat the big teams."

Ireland captain William Porterfield will be pitting his wits against opposite number Eoin Morgan at Clontarf, after the 24-year-old was selected to captain his adopted country against his former team-mates.

Porterfield is closer to Morgan than most having played with him as a child at Dublin's Rush Cricket Club, but he is unsurprised by the rapid ascent of his friend in the England ranks.

"It will be different going out to toss against him but he's done well for himself across the water," said Porterfield. "He knows where he wants to go and what he wants to do and I think he'll be a good captain

"It's up to England how they want to go and they see him as the best person to lead that side. It's a natural progression for someone of his quality and it doesn't bother me. He's been playing with them for a couple of years."


From Belfast Telegraph