Former Ireland wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien notched up his career highest score on Sunday as his former team-mates were completing a 3-0 series win over Zimbabwe.
O’Brien, who retired last October with 216 Ireland caps and one precious Test one, scored 254 for his club Rothley Park against Shree Sanatee CC in the Leicestershire & Rutland League County Cup quarter-final.
The former Railway Union man hit 18 sixes and 23 fours – 200 runs in boundaries – and faced just 118 balls as Rothley notched up 373-4 in their 40 overs. Shree Sanatee made 236-7.
O’Brien’s previous highest score was 182 for Northamptonshire in a first-class game in 2012.
He made 15 first-class tons and 4 in ListA (including one in an ODI). His best scores for Ireland were 176 and 174 against UAE in 2005 and 2008.
He currently tops the club averages (88.71) and aggregates with 621 in 10 innings. The 254 was his second century for the club this summer, and he has now scored 13 hundreds in all English club cricket for Folkestone, Nantwich and Rothley Park, and 40 in all classes of adult cricket since his maiden ton for Railway in the Village in 2002.
Only one other Irishman has ever scored more than O’Brien in an innings in England – former England test player Reggie Poore, who was born in Frascati House, Blackrock, and made 304 for Hampshire against Somerset 120 years ago.
O’Brien matched the score of 254 set by Paul Stirling for Middlesex 2nds against Glamorgan in 2015. That innings, at Radlett, was mostly in partnership with his Ireland team-mate Andrew Balbirnie who made 205 as the pair added 388 for the second wicket.
Double or triple hundreds scored by Irish cricketers in England (17)
- 304 Reggie Poore (Hampshire) v Somerset, Taunton 1899
- 254 Paul Stirling (Middlesex II) v Glamorgan II, Radlett, 2015
- 254 Niall O’Brien (Rothley Park) v Shree Sanatee, Rothley Park, 2019
- 250 Ed Joyce (Sussex) v Derbyshire, Derby 2016
- 246 Bob Lambert (Leinster) v Exmouth, Devon 1906
- 245 Dickie Lloyd (Liverpool) v Rugby School, 1919
- 217 Frederick Fane (Essex) v Surrey, The Oval 1911
- 216* Sir Tim O’Brien (Wiseton) v Mr A O Jones XI, 1905
- 211 Ed Joyce (Middlesex) v Warwickshire, Birmingham 2006
- 211* Drummond Hamilton (Queen’s College) v University College, Oxford 1880
- 210* Catherine Dalton (Finchley Women) v Bishops Stortford, 2018
- 207 Frederick Fane (Essex) v Leicestershire, Leicester 1899
- 205 Andrew Balbirnie (Middlesex II) v Glamorgan II, Radlett 2015
- 204* Ed Joyce (Sussex) v Nottinghamshire, Nottingham 2013
- 202 Sir Tim O’Brien (Middlesex) v Sussex, Hove, 1895
- 201* Justin Benson (The Leys School) v Headmaster’s XI, 1984
- 200* Graeme McDonnell (Leinster Cricket Union U15) v Lincolnshire, Wolverhampton 2005
Irish cricketers have also made double centuries in Scotland (3), Australia (6), UAE, South Africa and Namibia.