The Leinster Lightning got the InterProvincial Festival weekend off to the best possible start as they cruised to a 7-wicket victory over the Munster Reds at Pembroke on Friday.
Having restricted the Reds to 148/7 off their allocation, Simi Singh smashed 44 off 23 before George Dockrell (48*) and Lorcan Tucker (28*) saw the side home with 29 balls to spare.
Skipper Dockrell would have completed yet another InterPro half-century in 2021, had he not completed the winning run before the ball reached the point boundary off his bat.
Young David O’Halloran bowled particularly well in the first innings as he once again showed how he belongs at this level. His 2-20 led the Lightning bowling as he took the opening wicket of PJ Moor and returned later to remove the dangerous Greg Ford.
In between times Josh Little (2-21) was once again threatening with every delivery, and while Barry McCarthy (2-34) was a little expensive, in taking out Murray Commins (51) and Fionn Hand (1) at the death he prevented the Reds building momentum and adding 15 to 20 more runs to their score.
In the end 148/7 was a good target for the Lightning to chase.
In reply, Kevin O’Brien, on the day he announced his ODI retirement, would have loved to go big. It wasn’t to be however, as Aaron Cawley bowled him in the second over.
Instead, Simi Singh, opening in the absence of Jack Tector became the aggressor. Singh took a liking to Fionn Hand’s bowling and hit four boundaries, including a sumptuous cover drive, and a straight six before Hand has his revenge off the last ball of the 6th over.
Singh drove the ball straight and true but with sublime reflexes, Hand grasped the ball an inch off the ground and Singh had to depart for 44 off 23.
What Singh had done was set the foundations however, and despite the loss of Balbirnie for 20, George Dockrell and Lorcan Tucker saw the side home comfortably.
Dockrell, in the form of his life in the InterPros this season, smashed six boundaries and swatted a six over long-off. He should have made a 30-ball half-century hitting the winning runs; however, he completed the single needed for victory before the ball reached the point boundary and had to settle for an unbeaten 48.
Tucker played the perfect support role as his 28* off 15 meant a comprehensive bonus-point victory to start the weekend perfectly. The Leinster Lightning continue their IP20 campaign tomorrow (Saturday) against the Northern Knights at 11am.
Interprovincial 20-Over Trophy
Pembroke CC, Dublin
Leinster Lightning v Munster Reds, Friday June 18th
Munster Reds 148/7 20 Overs (M Commins 51, J Carty 31; D O’Halloran 2-20, J Little 2-21, B McCarthy 2-34)
Leinster Lightning 1489/3 15.1 Overs (G Dockrell 48*, S Singh 44, L Tucker 28*)
Leinster Lightning won by 7-wickets