Defiant Porterfield withstands McCarthy's blitz
A devastating burst of four wickets in 32 balls by Barry McCarthy hauled Leinster Lightning back into this penultimate Interprovincial Championship clash in Balrothery, but the one batsman he couldn't dismiss was William Porterfield.
Ireland's Test captain finished the second day 95 not out (nine fours, two sixes) but with only North West Warriors last man Ryan MacBeth for company as he chased a 12th first-class century.
For the second day in a row, rain prevented any play after tea, but with 19 wickets having fallen in 112 overs, no one is ruling out the possibility of a winner if there are no interruptions today.
At lunchtime yesterday, Warriors were 99-1 in reply to Lightning's 131 but, in a remarkable turnaround, the visitors lost six wickets for 14 runs to leave the hosts even contemplating a first-innings lead.
But Porterfield - dropped badly by Lorcan Tucker on nine - finally found a worthy partner in Graham Hume and they added what could yet be a vital 42 runs for the eighth wicket.
McCarthy returned to claim his fifth wicket, a third catch at first slip by Andrew Balbirnie, to end the Coleraine professional's 62-ball innings, and if McCarthy can take the last wicket promptly this morning he will have his best first-class figures.
Craig Young, who struck with the first ball of the day, denied himself his best when he held the catch which ended the Lightning innings 16 balls later and before lunch, apart from Porterfield's early scare, it was plain sailing for Warriors.
McCarthy bowled seven overs without success but just nine balls after the break he took his first wicket and it was game on.
North West have made three changes for this weekend's T20 festival. Out go Brendon Louw and 12th man Tommy Orr and in come Stuart Thompson, Marcus Poskitt and David Scanlon.
The draw was also made yesterday for the semi-finals of the All-Ireland T20 finals on Sunday week and NCU winners CIYMS will have home advantage at Belmont against the winners of the Brigade-Donemana North West final, which takes place at Strabane tomorrow evening.
Cork County meet Malahide in the other semi-final at Stormont (11am) with the final at the international venue starting at 4pm.
LEINSTER LIGHTNING 1st INNINGS
T Kane c Young b Hume 21
J Little b Young 3
P Chase not out 0
Extras (12b 3lb 4nb) 19
Total (45.4 overs) 131
Yesterday's bowling: C Young 12-6-26-4, G Hume 14.4-3-34-3
NORTH WEST WARRIORS 1ST INNS
W Porterfield not out 95
R Allen lbw b Little 27
A Gillespie lbw b McCarthy 15
B Louw c Balbirnie b McCarthy 1
D Rankin b Singh 0
A McBrine c Balbirnie b McCarthy 3
W Smale run out 0
G Kennedy lbw b McCarthy 0
G Hume c Balbirnie b McCarthy 20
C Young lbw b Singh 0
R MacBeth not out 0
Extras (5b 2lb) 7
Total (9 wkts, 66 overs) 168
Fall: 1-52 2-105 3-107 4-110 5-119 6-119 7-119 8-161 9-162