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O'Brien makes impressive entry into world Test rankings after historic century

Tim Murtagh and Stuart Thompson are also in the rankings after Ireland’s maiden Test.

O'Brien was named player of the match at Malahide.
O'Brien was named player of the match at Malahide.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

KEVIN O’BRIEN HAS not only broken into the ICC world Test rankings, but has surged up the ladder to as high as 66th in the batting standings after his history-making century against Pakistan in Ireland’s inaugural five-day game.

The 34-year-old became the first Ireland player to score a Test ton on Monday and his player-of-the-match performance at Malahide has seen him make an impressive entry into the batting rankings, earning 440 points.

It means O’Brien has made the second-best start in the Test rankings after Australian Charles Bannerman, who earned 447 ranking points for his innings of 165 against England at the MCG in 1877.

Meanwhile, both Tim Murtagh and Stuart Thompson have entered the bowling rankings on the back of good performances with the ball.

Murtagh took six wickets in the match and is the best placed of the Ireland bowlers, slotting in at number 67, while Thompson’s impressive Test debut — he scored 53 in Ireland’s second innings as well as taking four wickets — sees him go in as high as 88th and joint number 76 in the all-rounder rankings.

Although their Test debut ended in a five-wicket defeat to Pakistan, Ireland’s first foray into the long-form format left grounds for optimism as they produced a spirited fightback.

Stuart Thompson Stuart Thompson impressed for Ireland. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

After being made to follow-on, Ireland reduced Pakistan to 14 for three to give themselves hope of a remarkable win on the final day before the visitors managed to chase down a modest victory target of 160.

Ireland will next face India in two Twenty20 internationals at Malahide on 27 and 29 June.

Full ICC world Test rankings available here

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Ireland set for fixture bonanza including marquee Tests against top-tier nations

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Ryan Bailey

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