Jack Tector hit a masterful century ably assisted in a 182-run second wicket partnership by Andrew Balbirnie that led the Lightning to a comfortable bonus point victory away to the Warriors on Thursday.
Tector’s 110 came off 141 deliveries and included 13 fours and just one six. The YMCA captain and opener has been struggling for runs since returning from an injury disrupted 2018, but this was an example of the supreme talent he possesses.
In front of the watching Ireland coach Graham Ford, it was no small reminder.
“I’ve been training hard and not seeing too many results so to start pretty well and then kick-on I’m delighted,” said Tector post-game.
“I set myself a goal for this season to try and convert some of the starts I got last year into big scores.”
One man who is firmly established, is Ireland’s number three Andrew Balbirnie (94) and his partnership with Tector really took the game away from the Warriors. They manoeuvred the ball all around the wicket and Balbirnie deserved a century, falling 6 short, despite hitting nine boundaries and two maximums.
“It’s great batting with Bal (Andrew Balbirnie), to he’s been going so well with Ireland over the last little while and to be in the changing room with guys like him is really exciting. You can learn so much from being at the other end and chatting to these players and it brings your game on so much,” added Tector.
Debutant Graham Hume (3-48) and Craig Young (2-68) took wickets in the final overs as the Warriors continued to fight to the last. In the end they prevented the Lightning passing 300 which looked eminently possible early on.
However, 271/5 at half-time looked a fine score for the visitors and the home side would have to chase well to reach that target.
After the wicket of Marcus Poskitt (10), bowled by Tyrone Kane, Gareth Delany took a real hold on proceedings. Firstly, his accurate throw from fine leg ran out Barr (31) before he took three quick wickets including the dangerous Gillespie (4) and opposing captain Andy McBrine (5).
“I think everyone did their job really with the ball,” said Tector. “The seamers up top TK (Tyrone Kane), Chaser (Peter Chase) and Fionn (Hand) bowled really well and then the spinners put a strangle on it in the middle. I think Gareth’s spell in the middle, changed the game.
At 82/5 the Warriors were not only losing wickets but well behind the run rate. It was only a matter of whether the Lightning could bowl the home side out or if they could bat the overs through.
In the end, Lightning skipper George Dockrell returned to the attack and mopped up the tail. He took two wickets in three balls in the 48th over and with that the Lightning had secured a 78-run victory.
Fittingly, it was Jack Tector who took the final catch and sealed the win as Craig Young picked him out at deep square leg.
InterProvincial 50-Over Cup, North West Warriors v Leinster Lightning
At Bready Cricket Club;
Leinster Lightning 271/5 (J Tector 110, A Balbirnie 94; G Hume 3-48, C Young 2-68)
North West Warriors 193 a/o 48 overs (D Rankin 55, G Hume 39*; G Dockrell 4-41, G Delany 3-47)
Leinster Lightning win by 78 runs