Kevin O'Brien upset after Ireland denied victory against Pakistan
Kevin O'Brien was left distraught after Ireland were denied a famous one-day victory against Pakistan in Dublin.
Last Updated: 23/05/13 11:18pm
O'Brien swept the final ball from Saeed Ajmal for four to level the scores and leave the hosts agonisingly short of a first-ever Dublin triumph against a Test-playing nation.
"We're not here to tie the game, we're here to win it so that's why it feels a little bit like a loss," O'Brien said after hitting an unbeaten 84 from 47 balls.
"To come so close and not get over the line is going to be tough to take initially. "But when we reflect on the game and think about it, it will probably become a little easier to take."
Memories of Ireland first-ever major success, against Pakistan on St Patrick's Day at the 2007 World Cup, were revived as they made an unlikely pursuit of 276 in a match reduced to 47 overs by rain.
Needing 15 from his final over, O'Brien whacked Ajmal for six and another maximum off the last delivery would have won the game alongside Trent Johnston, who hit the winning runs against Pakistan in Jamaica six years ago.
"TJ mentioned that before the last ball," O'Brien said. "He came up to me and said: 'How about you hit the winning runs this time?'
"Unfortunately it was one run less but it's nice to get so close."
O'Brien admitted he could have even left the final ball and said: "It probably would have been a wide - that's hindsight. We actually missed two full tosses in that last over. On another day they could have gone out of the ground and we could have won."
With the decider on Sunday, Thursday's efforts left O'Brien upbeat about the chances of his team winning that game and securing a major confidence boost before their crucial 2015 World Cup qualifiers against Holland and Scotland later this summer.
"There's no reason to fear Pakistan," O'Brien added. "They are obviously a great side, you have to give them the respect they deserve but we've come so close here.
"If the ball bounces another way on Sunday we come away with a victory. We just have to look at where we didn't quite perform today as a team and collectively and come back on Sunday and improve it."
Asad Shafiq, who added his ODI-best 84 in a score of 266-5 that was bumped up to 275 on the Duckworth-Lewis Method, said: "It's actually a very good preparation for the Champions Trophy when you play a match like this.
"It's a balance. We are not very happy or sad. But Kevin O'Brien did a great job. So did their whole team."