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A BRILLIANT innings of 94 off just 75 balls from Kevin O’Brien wasn’t enough for Ireland, who came out on the wrong end of their first day/night clash at the Rose Bowl as Hampshire shot the lights out to wrap a 77-run victory in their Friends Provident Trophy clash.

O’Brien was joined at the wicket by Alex Cusack and the pair would put on 95 from 100 balls, with the big Railway Union all-rounder taking advantage of a short boundary by clubbing the Hampshire attack to all parts in bringing up his 50 off just 39 balls.

He would eventually hole out in trying to bring up his century with a seventh six of his innings: Michael Lumb took the catch at long-on off the bowling of leg spinner Imran Tahir. O’Brien had hit 68 of his runs in boundaries that also included eight fours.

Ireland struggled after O’Brien’s dismissal, with England all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas picking up the wicket of Trent Johnston before ending Cusack’s patient knock after he had made 41 from 67 deliveries.

Kyle McCallan (23) and Regan West (17) added some late runs to reduce the margin of defeat, with Fintan McAllister and Peter Connell doing well to bat out the final eight overs as Ireland closed on 239 for nine.

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