Kevin O’Brien’s fastest century in the history of the competition, from 50 balls, flummoxed England in Bangalore as Ireland pulled off the highest World Cup run chase in history.
Not content with that resounding claim to fame, Ireland are hoping to complete a notable double at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium when they take on the might of India in Group B on Sunday.
Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom confirmed celebrations continued long into the night at Ireland’s team hotel.
But recalling their triumph over Pakistan at the last World Cup in the Caribbean, he made it clear they are targeting at least one more major scalp in the sub-Continent to demonstrate their progress in the intervening four years.
“It was a huge result, and a huger night,” said Deutrom as he reflected on the O’Brien-inspired three-wicket win over a hapless England.
“It was noticeable the players were not triumphant,” added Deutrom. “The big difference between 2007 and 2011 was that four years ago beating Pakistan felt like winning the World Cup.
“This time there is genuine belief that a result like last night can happen again.”
Shahid Afridi picked up his second five-wicket haul of the World Cup as Pakistan secured a surprisingly hard-fought 46-run victory against Canada at Colombo yesterday.
The Pakistan captain’s figures of 5-23 helped turn the tide his team’s way after Canada – chasing just 185 for the win – threatened to repeat Ireland’s feat. It was only a 73-run stand between Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal that kept them in the hunt for a fighting total.