Two days of play at North Down and with the Northern Knights 83/1, an intriguing final day lies in prospect.
At the start of the day the Lightning were intent on batting long and securing a first innings lead. Anderson and Balbirnie looked at ease, Anderson rocking back to smash through mid-on and going on the pull to the shorter deliveries.
The pair put on 67 in 16 overs but as Balbirnie (48) approached his half-century, Cameron-Dow found his edge and Dougherty took a good catch at first slip.
Singh joined Anderson at the crease and they continued in the same vein as the Lightning played their shots. The third wicket partnership was worth 56, with some sublime shots played by both. With Nikolai Smith off the field injured and some turn beginning to be found in the pitch, they survived nearly 20 overs of spin relatively comfortably and at a decent rate.
Shane Getkate returned to the attack on the stroke of lunch and drew an edge from Anderson (66) in the last over before the break that Rock did well to take, diving across his slips behind the stumps.
It was Leinster’s session, just about, as they scored 123/2 but the wicket of Anderson made the Knights lunch taste better. Lightning 156/3 in reply to 263 at Lunch on Day 2,
In the afternoon session Sean Terry attempted to press on with the scoring, getting off the mark with a pull to square leg, followed with a six to the same area.
Harry Tector was brought into the Knights’ attack in the 64th over and he struck with his fifth ball, Ellison holding on after a little fumble at mid-on to dismiss Terry for 18. The Lightning now 185/4.
Singh moved to a 50 of his own (5x4 2x6) soon after but when Dockrell was bowled for 15 by Cameron-Dow, the Knights were regularly taking wickets and not letting partnerships develop.
Three wickets in ten balls then turned the game in the Knights direction. Cameron-Dow bowled Simi Singh (56) to kick things off. Then Harry Tector took two wickets with successive balls as Tucker and Delany fell, leaving the Lightning 239/8 still 24 runs behind.
The new ball was available from the 80th over but with Cameron-Dow and Tector looking so threatening, the Knights continued with their spin bowling attack. James Shannon was thrown the ball too and it was that kind of spell for the home side as he snagged the wicket of Chase, caught behind for 6.
Tyrone Kane drove through the covers in the 95th over to give Leinster a first innings lead, however it wouldn’t be the lead Lightning had targeted as Kane was bowled for 18 by Gary Kidd moments later to take us to Tea on Day 2.
Leinster Lightning had been bowled out for 268 and had a lead of five runs after both sides had batted.
A fascinating evening session lay ahead as the Knights sought to set a strong target while the Lightning were looking for wickets to minimise the chase on what will be a tricky pitch to bat on last.
Peter Chase and Tyrone Kane opened the bowling for a fired-up Lightning and Chase struck early. In just the 4th over he had Marc Ellison (7) caught behind by Lorcan Tucker.
Thereafter it was harder for the Lightning bowlers as Dougherty, promoted in the order due to the injury to Nikolai Smith, and McCollum displayed their skills. Eleven boundaries between the two in a 76-run partnership took them to the close.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing as they gave a chance or two to the Lightning slip cordon. They survived however and took the Knights to 83/1 at stumps on Day 2, a lead of 78 runs.
Day 2 Close
Northern Knights 263 & 83/1, 29 Overs (James McCollum 42*, Chris Dougherty 28*)
Leinster Lightning 268, 95.4 overs (John Anderson 66, Simi Singh 56; Harry Tector 3-28, James Cameron-Dow 3-64)