ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
England v Ireland, World Cup 2011, Group B, Bangalore
Easy as spit for O'Brien
The plays of the day from an epic contest between England and Ireland in Bangalore
Liam Brickhill in Bangalore
March 2, 2011
Injury scare of the day
His team-mates must have feared the worst when Kevin O'Brien stooped to field the ball after stopping a drive in the covers and, his left knee buckling underneath him, he fell to the ground, writhing in agony. O'Brien's booted foot had slipped on the grass, his knee wobbling and then clicking backwards in a stomach-churning movement that drew gasps of horror when it was replayed on the big screen. But after a tense couple of minutes and the attention of the team physio he was back up again - albeit with a little discomfort - and stayed on the field thereafter. And it didn't seem to affect his batting either ...
Blasé pose of the day
'If Sachin can do it, why can't I?' Kevin O'Brien may well have thought before heaving Graeme Swann over wide long-on for his second six in three balls to complete the 27th over. As the ball sailed over the rope O'Brien stepped away from the crease and stood left foot over right, leaning on the bat with his left hand and his right propped nonchalantly on his hip, and spat. It was a pose he repeated after each of his 19 boundaries in a 63-ball 113 that set up the most famous victory in Irish cricketing history.
Missed opportunity of the day
Kevin Pietersen's one-day century drought stretches all the way back to November 2008, but in conditions tailor-made for batting in Bangalore it looked as though the platform was set for him to break that lengthy run. He motored past fifty - his first as an England opener - against a relatively tame bowling attack on the flattest of tracks, and a ton looked like merely a matter of staying at the crease. But then came the brainfreeze as, to the third ball he faced from part-time offspinner Paul Stirling, he played the cutest, and most unnecessary, of reverse dabs to present wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien with the simplest of catches. The wait continues ...
Dropped catch of the day
'Which one?' you might reasonably ask. The damage had already pretty much been done when Gary Wilson spilled a chance at deep midwicket in the 49th over of England's innings but that was at least the only chance Ireland missed in the field all afternoon. England, whose fielding let Netherlands off the hook innumerable times in Nagpur, seemed to drop their guard against the similarly unfancied Irish and let no less than six chances go begging - the most costly being Andrew Strauss's valiant, but unsuccessful, effort off a Kevin O'Brien skier when the batsman had scored 91.
Unlikely milestone of the day
Perhaps it is the distraction of his absorbed, almost obsessive-compulsive manner at the crease, perhaps the machine-like efficiency of his batting that leaves no room for either flaw or flair, but for some reason Jonathan Trott's equalling of the record for the fastest batsman to 1,000 one-day runs - in just his 21st innings - seems an unlikely milestone for a batsmen initially thought to score too slowly to fit into England's limited-overs side. And yet with a deep-set whip to leg for two in the 37th over - could it have come any other way? - he drew level with the likes of Viv Richards and team-mate Kevin Pietersen.
Photo Feature: For any young cricketers out there, Nishi Narayanan's crash course in appealing is sure to be instructive
The Cricket Monthly April issue
Joe Root, England's next Test captain, pays a visit to his old primary school and relives some school-day memories
Corey Anderson talks about coping with great expectations, playing fearless cricket, and his aspirations beyond the game
Polite Enquiries: And what superpower would Jason Holder like to have?
Pick your two spinners for our all-time IPL XI and help put together the team with our panel of experts
Among the most expensive players from the latest auction, only Rashid Khan and Pat Cummins have lived up to expectations
We celebrate Misbah and Younis' immeasurable careers by picking 15 of their most memorable moments
ESPNcricinfo's review of where the teams stand at the halfway stage of the IPL season, and what they must do moving forward to clinch a spot in the playoffs
The best, the worst and everything in between from the past ten days of the IPL's tenth season
Bangladesh's top cricketers get even lower salary than their counterparts in Zimbabwe and Ireland even though the BCB earns more from ICC revenues and its own deals with broadcasters
To start with, stop thinking of players as batsmen, bowlers and allrounders; it's far more nuanced than that
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha on preparations for England, and his team's recent success in Sri Lanka
Ben Hilfenhaus talks about his old job as a bricklayer, the best captain he has played under, and the number of Test wickets he finished with
One of West Indies' all-time great fast bowlers remembers the ground in his boyhood and Test cricket days