Leinster Lightning got their Test Triangle InterProvincial 50-Over Cup underway with a comfortable 91-run victory over the Northern Knights at Comber on Thursday.
An impressive 79 from Stephen Doheny, that included seven boundaries, held the innings together after Jack Tector fell to the first ball of the day.
Doheny and Kevin O’Brien (44) rebuilt the innings, before another significant partnership of 55 with Lorcan Tucker (21).
This provided the platform for the lower middle-order to smash the vital runs that proved the difference in the end.
YMCA teammates Simi Singh (26) and Curtis Campher (26) began the acceleration, but it was Greg Ford who really grabbed the match by the scruff of its neck.
Ford’s 43 off 36 was the cornerstone of 115 runs that came off the final ten overs of the innings. When he fell with three overs remaining, Tyrone Kane (30*) and skipper (24*) amassed 44 from the last 18 deliveries to push the score passed 300 and set a challenging target of 307 for the Knights.
Josh Little (3-32) removed Marc Ellison and Harry Tector early, and in tandem with Peter Chase (1-37) meant that the Lightning had the Knights 43/2 at the end of the powerplay.
When Curtis Campher (2-33) removed James McCollum LBW at the beginning of the 11th over, the Lightning were on firmly on top.
The counterattack came from Ruhan Pretorius (50) and Shane Getkate (73) as they put on 79 for the fifth wicket.
George Dockrell’s decision to throw the ball to Chase at the beginning of the 31st over proved decisive as Pretorius was tempted into a drive and Tucker pouched the catch behind the stumps.
The coup de grace came from Simi Singh as he took the final three wickets. Two wickets in two balls in the 41st meant it was only a matter of time as Delany was stumped by Tucker and McCarter feathered through to the keeper.
The last wicket to fall was Getkate who had played a lone hand, Singh taking a very good return catch off his own bowling to end the Knights innings on 215.
A comfortable 91-run victory for the Lightning, which also brings a bonus point for the 50-over Cup competition.
Test Triangle Interprovincial 50-Over Cup
North Down CC, Comber
Northern Knights v Leinster Lightning, Thursday September 17th
Leinster Lightning 306/7 50 Overs (S Doheny 79, G Ford 43, K O’Brien 44; G McCarter 2-53)
Northern Knights 215 a/o 42.5 Overs (S Getkate 73, R Pretorius 50; S Singh 4-42, J Little 3-32, C Campher 2-33)
Leinster Lightning won by 91 runs