O’Brien expects famous century

ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010

Niall O'Brien

Niall O'Brien is confident Ireland can add to their giant-killing feats against England on the occassion of his 100th cap today

Niall O'Brien will earn his 100th cap for Ireland against ICC World Twenty20 rivals England believing his side can score another major upset.

The Northamptonshire wicketkeeper has played his part in a few shock results in his 99 caps, most notably a man-of-the-match performance for Ireland in their victory over Pakistan in Jamaica at the 2007 World Cup when he top-scored with 72.

And while the 28-year-old Dubliner feels honoured at the achievement, nothing would be more important to him than a victory over England in their final group game at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.

“A 100th cap is going to be a very proud moment. Leading the team out against England is obviously a very happy thought for me,” said O'Brien.

“I got injured in Jamaica and missed a game so it's actually worked out quite well that England's going to be my 100th cap.

“Hopefully I can put in a really special performance and create a bit of history and get a win against England, which would be fantastic.”

As O'Brien's personal list of highlights from his 99 caps to date suggests, Ireland have proved more than capable of overturning the odds.

He said: “If you look back down the years, we've beaten Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in Stormont.

"We beat West Indies in 2004 by six wickets and I got man of the match that day.

"The 2007 World Cup speaks for itself because both Pakistan and Bangladesh were great wins and we tied with Zimbabwe.

“We got to the Super Eights last year [in the World Twenty20] in England and beat Bangladesh, I got man of the match again, so hopefully there's a few more man-of-the-match performances in me, and at this tournament.”

Kamran Akmal & Niall O'Brien

O'Brien, whose 72 aided a major upset against Pakistan, said: "The 2007 World Cup speaks for itself because both Pakistan and Bangladesh were great wins and we tied with Zimbabwe"

O'Brien believes those memories can give his team a boost going into the England game and help restore a little morale after a 70-run opening defeat to West Indies on Friday night.

“We know we can beat these teams and that's important to take that confidence into the game,” he added. “We've beaten big teams in the past so there's no reason why we can't do it again.

“We know we've got the personnel to compete with them over the 40 overs of the match and it's important to stay in there for as long as we can.

“Things change quickly in Twenty20 so it needs one or two people to put in a special performance and we'll get the victory. The Twenty20 gives the underdog much more of a chance.

“The longer the format the better sides should win out a lot more but Twenty20 cricket has already shown us beating teams, Holland beating England, so there's upsets on the cards at this World Cup.

“Playing England in any sport is massive with all the history. We've watched the rugby lads beat England now quite regularly and now we want to emulate that and get a win for the cricket team.”

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