The Lightning Bolts were in ruthless form today as they secured a 133-run victory over the Emerging Knights at the Phoenix Park to win the second 50-over match in successive days.
A century from Oliver Gunning (ret 107) was the highlight of the Bolts batting performance. After getting a start in yesterday’s match Gunning made sure to capitalise today and displayed great composure and no little skill in compiling a comfortable ton.
Gunning had a 74-run partnership with Gareth Delany (31) and then a 135-run partnership with Nic Pretorius (83) as the Bolts compiled 265/3 by the 45th over.
Pretorius backed up his 58 yesterday with another half-century today, mixing crunching drives, cuts and pulls with hard running. His innings came to an end on 83 when his ramp shot off Peter Eakin was caught on the run by Malone at deep fine leg.
The retirement of Gunning and the dismissal of Pretorius signalled a collapse from the Bolts as the Emerging Knights took wickets throughout the last five overs of the innings.
Six wickets fell in the last five overs for 24 runs as Theo Lawson (19) was just the fourth Bolts batsman to reach double figures.
From a position where the Bolts could once again have put on 320/330, they were all out for 296 off their 50 overs with Gunning and Pretorius innings’ outstanding on the batting card.
Jarred Barnes and Rory Anders opened the bowling for the Bolts in defending 296 and what a start they gave the home side.
Both had figures of 1-23 after their first 6 overs each, leaving the Emerging Knights 46/2 and already well behind the required run rate.
Fiachra Tucker came on to replace Anders from the Zoo end, and his five over spell turned the game almost certainly in the Bolts favour. Tucker took four wickets for just 16 runs as Wright, Topping, Eakin and Magowan fell in quick time.
Tucker took a good return catch to remove Topping before Eakin and Magowan fell in the 22nd leaving the Knights 82/6.
The Stanton brothers from Merrion than took a wicket each to leave the Emerging Knights 126/8 after 33 overs. Sean bowled Malone (12) before Tom had Johnston (1) caught behind by Pretorius.
The real bright spot for the Emerging Knights was the innings of Sam Gordon who went to back-to-back 50’s against the Bolts (5x4 and 2x6).
Jarred Barnes though was brought back on to wrap things up for the Bolts and he did so in style. First, he trapped Gordon (51) LBW with the first ball of the 39th over.
Then with the last ball of the same over, Barnes did really well to adjust in his follow through and take the return catch to dismiss Allison and close the Knights innings on 163.
Barnes’ third wicket sealed a 133-run victory and a second victory over the Emerging Knights on successive days. Today’s a lot more clinical however.
Lightning Bolts v Emerging Knights 50-Over Match 1, 23 July 2018
At Phoenix Park;
Lightning Bolts 296 a/o 50 overs (O Gunning 107ret, N Pretorius 83; P Eakin 4-34)
Emerging Knights 163 a/o 39 overs (S Gordon 51; F Tucker 4-16, J Barnes 3-30)
Lightning Bolts win by 133 runs