Kevin O’Brien defies injury to inspire Ireland to victory

William Porterfield’s team set up a series decider against Afghanistan on Friday

Kevin O’Brien produced a brave and outstanding all-round performance to carry Ireland to a series-levelling three-wicket win over Afghanistan in the fourth one-day international at Greater Noida.

Medium-pacer O’Brien first took four for 26 to help restrict Afghanistan to 220 all out, and then returned to resume his innings in the chase — after retiring hurt on just nine — to finish unbeaten on 72 as Ireland won with more than three overs to spare.

O’Brien, who had missed the previous two matches with hamstring trouble but was back in place of his brother Niall, took three early wickets as Afghanistan stumbled to 11 for three and then 83 for seven after choosing to bat first.

They recovered, however, batting well down the order — as they have previously in the series — to set a challenging total.


Ireland's reply looked in trouble at 130 for six, off-spinner Mohammad Nabi taking four for 30. But O'Brien came back out to hit four fours and two sixes in a 48-ball half-century and share a crucial stand of 66 in 11 overs for the seventh wicket with Gary Wilson.

William Porterfield’s team have therefore set up a series decider, at the same venue, on Friday.