Adair wastes no time as Knights put Warriors to the sword
A week before the launch of the lucrative Euro T20 Slam, Mark Adair staked an early claim for a contract with a whirlwind 44 from 15 balls as Northern Knights eased to a 117-run victory over North West Warriors in this season's inter-provincial opener in windy La Manga.
Only one batsman had crashed a List A half-century quicker than 16 balls but Adair, still uncapped by Ireland, would have matched it only for a superb low catch at deep mid-wicket by Graham Kennedy.
The former Warwickshire professional hit six sixes - three off Stuart Thompson and two off Boyd Rankin - as Knights scored 128 off the last 10 overs to finish on 265-6 in just 36 overs, the game reduced by a delayed start and a further four overs after a 25-minute hold-up when the sightscreen was blown down.
The Ireland selectors, however, were given plenty to mull over ahead of next week's one-day international against England and the Tri-series against West Indies and Bangladesh which follows immediately.
The positives were a return to action - and form - for Gary Wilson, who reported 'no problem' after 87 minutes batting for the first time since his eye operation, and four wickets for Thompson, albeit at seven runs an over, although the boundaries are on the small side here, and only Kennedy, as the least experienced pace bowler given only five overs, had a better economy rate.
The downside was another early dismissal for Ireland captain William Porterfield, after a disappointing series against Afghanistan, and no wickets for Warriors skipper Andy McBrine and Rankin.
Indeed, after Adair had followed up his batting heroics with three wickets in his first 20 balls, the Warriors collapsed to 78-9 and only a record 10th-wicket partnership of 69 between Andy Britton and Craig Young took the North West side past their previous low total and avoided their heaviest defeat.
Harry Tector, meanwhile, had a hard-hitting 36 not out from 14 balls and five wickets, while Mark Ellison was the game's top scorer with 87 from 91 balls (12 fours and two sixes) as the CSN opener picked up where he left off last season.
Today: Northern Knights v Leinster Lightning (9.45am BST).
J McCollum c Gillespie b Young 5
M Ellison c Young b Rankin 87
J Shannon lbw b Thompson 7
G Wilson b Thompson 40
S Getkate c Britton b Thompson 3
M Adair c Kennedy b Thompson 44
H Tector not out 36
N Rock not out 17
Extras (5b 3lb 16w 2nb) 26
Total (Six wkts, 36 overs) 265
Did not bat: G McCarter, R McKinley, J Cameron-Dow
Fall: 1-5 2-24 3-149 4-159 5-189 6-209
Bowling: C Young 7-1-54-1, A Britton 4-0-41-0, S Thompson 8-0-55-4, B Rankin 7-0-63-1, G Kennedy 5-0-14-0, A McBrine 5-0-30-0
NORTH WEST WARRIORS
(Target 265 in 36 overs)
W Porterfield b Tector 11
D Rankin c Elliison b Adair 0
A Gillespie b Adair 2
S Thompson c Wilson b Adair 13
A McBrine st Wilson b Tector 12
W McClintock lbw b Cameron-Dow 9
G Kennedy b McCarter 1
A Austin c Adair b Tector 23
B Rankin b Tector 0
A Britton not out 36
C Young b Tector 27
Extras (2b 1lb 8w 2nb) 13
Total (29.1 overs) 147
Fall: 1-6 2-13 3-30 4-40 5-43 6-48 7-72 8-72 9-78
Bowling: G McCarter 6-0-17-1, M Adair 6-0-29-3, H Tector 6.1-0-36-5, J Cameron-Dow 6-0-26-1, S Getkate 5-0-36-0
Northern Knights won by 117 runs (DLS)