A world record seventh wicket partnership of 215 between Simi Singh (121*) and George Dockrell (98*) set up the Leinster Lightning for a 53-run victory in the Interprovincial 50-Over Cup at The Hills.
After winning the toss, visiting captain Shane Getkate had no hesitation inserting the Lightning with clouds overhead and a greenish tinge to the pitch.
The opening bowling of Mark Adair and Graeme McCarter vindicated his decision, reducing Lightning to 37/2 after 10 overs. When Anderson fell to Getkate the Lightning were 3 down and really struggling to gain momentum.
Getkate (4-47) had a second when Balbirnie (25) was trapped LBW in the 18th over before taking two in three deliveries in the 20th over to leave the Lightning 62/6 and staring down the barrel.
That was the moment the match turned on its’ head. Simi Singh was joined in the middle by his captain George Dockrell and slowly but surely, they rebuilt the innings and then began to pile on the runs.
By the close of their 50 overs, Singh and Dockrell had put 127 in the last 10 overs, taken Singh passed his century, and set a new world record for a 7th wicket partnership in List A cricket.
“Really happy with my contribution to the win,” said Singh. Speaking about the record stand with Dockrell he added, “You never get a situation like we did of being 60 for 6 and then get 280, it’s amazing”.
“Pretty special, tried to get our head down initially,” said Dockrell. “They had bowled a lot of overs of seam, so we knew if we got through a short burst there would be quite a few overs of spin to come. We kept to the scoreboard ticking over and then got to a point where we could open our shoulders. It was incredible”
From 62/6, Leinster had set an imposing target of 278 for the Knights to chase in their chase.
Peter Chase and Tyrone Kane took early wickets to leave the Knights 43/2 before the Knights began to rebuild.
Kevin O’Brien delivered a peach to clip to the top of Nikolai Smith’s (40) off stump and the dangerous opener was gone.
James Shannon was looking threatening and the Knights were well ahead of the required run rate, but the Lightning kept taking wickets. Dockrell had Shannon caught sweeping by Anderson.
That meant the Knights were 5 down but they had scored 163 runs after just 31 overs chasing 278, if they could build a partnership, they were well on top.
However, George Dockrell was determined to wrest the Man of the Match accolades from Simi Singh. He ended his 10 overs with five for 21 and by the time he ended his spell the Knights were 195/9 and had been bowled out of the game.
Neil Rock threw caution to the wind and smashed an entertaining 47 with 5 fours and 2 sixes.
But Dockrell wasn’t to be denied.
He put the exclamation point on his individual performance holding on to a high shot from Rock off Peter Chase to deliver the 53-run victory to the Lightning.
“I didn’t think there was that much in it for the spinners, so to get a 5-fer on that wicket I’m really pleased. Fair play to all our bowlers though in fairness, we kept taking wickets, and we needed to, because they were right up with the run rate all the way through,” said Dockrell of his 5-wicket haul.
Before finishing for the day Dockrell also had a word about the Cairn Homes live-stream of today’s game. “It was fantastic to have this set-up with the live stream and the media. It shows this competition is getting better and better, not just on the pitch. Delighted to have the stream, I heard it went well, our sponsor boards, The Hills who always put on a fine spectacle and an exciting day’s cricket too. We look forward to that coverage continuing with all our games.
InterProvincial 50-Over Cup, Leinster Lightning v Northern Knights
At The Hills;
Leinster Lightning 277/6 (Simi Singh 121*, George Dockrell 98*; Shane Getkate 4-47)
Northern Knights 224 a/o 42.3 overs (Neil Rock 47, James Shannon 43; George Dockrell 5-21, Kevin O’Brien 2-21)
Leinster Lightning win by 53 runs