A stunning unbeaten century from captain George Dockrell saw the Leinster Lightning secure their second consecutive win of the InterProvincial season with a 70-run DLS victory over the Northern Knights at Pembroke on Tuesday.
On a slow pitch, where it was difficult to score quickly, Dockrell took 63 deliveries to get to his half-century. However, after a 28-minute rain-break, both Dockrell and Simi Singh (38) increased the scoring rate dramatically in the final eight overs.
Dockrell took just 21 balls to convert to a century, including hitting the last two balls of the innings for six: the first over over long-off, the second over square leg. The celebrations that greeted the ton-making shot showed how important the momentum swing had been towards the Lightning as they added 98 in 8.3 overs after the interruption.
Earlier Kevin O’Brien (37) and Saturday’s hero Jamie Grassi (34) had got starts but the Lightning batting order found the going tough as the Knights bowling, particularly Graeme McCarter (2-27) kept the run rate very low.
The fifth wicket stand of 104 between Dockrell and Singh really proved instrumental and gave the Lightning all the momentum as they set 252/6 off their 50 overs.
The Northern Knights chase was hampered by an injury to James McCollum while fielding in just the second over the match. As he tried to make a difficult catch at mid-wicket, he dislocated his shoulder and reduced the Northern Knights to a 10-man batting card.
It was the Malahide duo of Peter Chase (3-37) and young David O’Halloran (2-20) who took the wickets for the Lightning, but Simi Singh was impressive, while Barry McCarthy delivered another outstanding performance with seven overs, two maidens and one wicket for 19 runs.
Chase bowled Pretorius early, before claiming the prized wicket of Ireland international Paul Stirling with an absolute beauty that took the top of his off-stump.
Barry McCarthy’s delivery to dismiss Knights’ captain Harry Tector was equally impressive.
O’Halloran picked up his first wicket in InterProvincial cricket when he had the dangerous Jeremy Lawlor (32) caught behind after setting him up nicely.
With the Knights 58/3 in the 17th over, another rain delay recalculated the target to be 234 in 42 overs. It was a big ask, but after Dockrell’s innings nothing could be ruled out.
Luke Georgeson (46) and Mark Adair (36*) did threaten to challenge the target at times but the Lightning held their nerve, and a disciplined display overall was rewarded with a comprehensive victory in the end.
The Lightning are two from two this season and have to wait until Sunday May 16th for their next match in the competition, when they travel to Comber to face the Northern Knights once again.
PHOTOS – CRICKET LEINSTER