After a day of twisting fortunes in glorious sunshine at North Down, it is the Lightning who are on top but not decisively. The Lightning bowled the Knights out for 263 and are 33/1 ahead of Day 2 beginning on Wednesday at 11am.
The Northern Knights won the toss and Getkate had no hesitation in choosing to bat under the baking sun in Comber. Peter Chase and Tyrone Kane bowled very economically and with no little threat as the new ball swung and seamed, Chase trapped Ellison LBW for 2.
There was to be no let up for the Knights batsmen as first change bowlers David Delany and Jarred Barnes maintained the pressure, looking just as dangerous as their teammates.
Barnes even had success with his very first ball in First-Class cricket as he dismissed Nikolai Smith, Lorcan Tucker taking a good catch down legside.
David Delany set the seal on the strong session for the Lightning when he got through Dougherty’s defences and left the Knights 60/4 at lunch.
The afternoon session swung more in favour of the Knights. The Lightning took the wicket of Harry Tector but some exceptional shot making from James McCollum and Shane Getkate pushed the run rate up.
McCollum showed examples of his array of shots, pulling a 6 to fine leg, cutting 4 through backward point and then going on the drive through the covers. Getkate too exhibited his power, pulling a flat 6 over mid-wicket as well as getting on the front foot to drive.
In the afternoon session the Knights put on 144/1 to leave them on 204/5 at Tea.
The evening session swung back the way of the Lightning as Dockrell took the prized wicket of McCollum (87), well held at first slip by Balbirnie. He followed that up with the wicket of Getkate (70) given out LBW and the Lightning had the Knights 240/7.
With the new ball taken, Peter Chase bowled Cameron-Dow for 4 and Leinster were on the hunt for the final wickets to bowl out the Knights. There wasn’t long to wait as just four overs later the innings was closed.
First Gary Kidd was run out and then Chase picked up his third wicket when Lorcan Tucker held on to a skier from Magee.
Having dismissed the home side for 263, the visitors were faced with a tricky 14 overs to negotiate before the close of play. Smith and Magee attacked the stumps and had up to five slips waiting for the edge.
Unluckily for Jack Tector, Smith did find his edge before the close to leave the visitors one down. However, John Anderson and Andrew Balbirnie saw the Lightning through to the close without further alarm.
After a mostly even day’s play in Comber, the Leinster Lightning will look to bat long when play resumes at 11am tomorrow morning.
Day 1 Close
Northern Knights 263, 87.3 overs (J McCollum 87, S Getkate 70; P Chase 3-38, J Barnes 3-46)
Leinster Lightning 33/1, 14 overs (A Balbirnie 17*)