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Honours even as Lightning keep their unbeaten record

By Ian Callender

With a comfort in total contrast to their first innings effort, inter-provincial championship holders Leinster Lightning got out of Clontarf with a draw after Northern Knights had dominated the first two days.

Starting the final day 293 runs behind, with all 10 second innings wickets standing, Lightning lost only two all day and none in the last three hours 20 minutes as John Anderson and Simmi Singh put on an unbeaten 146 with not a hint of a chance.

Conditions were, to be fair, also a total contrast to the second day with threatening clouds replaced by bright sunshine and, in perfect batting conditions, the Knights bowlers could make no impact. North Down leg spinner Jacob Mulder took both wickets and, in truth, was the only bowler who looked like taking a wicket.

Fellow leg spinner Greg Thompson was economical but unthreatening and even Lee Nelson, who does not even bowl himself regularly at Waringstown, was given seven overs.

With runs not an issue, Lightning could just bat, with any runs scored a bonus. Indeed, Anderson did not hit a boundary until his 116th delivery.

But long before the finish, Lightning's unbeaten record in this competition, now in its fourth year, was secure.

The teams meet again next week with the Knights having home advantage at Stormont, starting on Tuesday, but Lightning must immediately turn their attention to Twenty20 mode as the first game of that series is tonight in Merrion against the North West Warriors (5pm).


LEINSTER Lightning: J Anderson (capt), Yaqoob Ali, J Carroll, G Dockrell, D Joyce, T Kane, K O'Brien, A Poynter, E Richardson, S Singh, M Sorensen, L Tucker

NORTH WEST Warriors: A McBrine (capt), A Gillespie, J Barnes, R-L Dougherty, O Williams, Gary McClintock, W McClintock, M Marais, D Rankin, J Robinson, S Thompson, C Young.

Championship scores: At Castle Avenue, Northern Knights 1st inns 371-8 dec (J Shannon 85, N Smith 77, S Getkate 64 not out, G McCarter 43) Leinster Lightning 77 (G McCarter 5-24) and 222-2 (93 overs; S Singh 75 not out, J Anderson 68 out, J Tector 35, D Joyce 32, J Mulder 2-62). Match drawn.

Meanwhile, there is a first on Sunday for the NCU with a Women's Super 3s (50 overs) match being played in Downpatrick.

The Super 3s is the equivalent of the men's inter-provincials but with only three teams, the Dragons, Scorchers and Typhoons. Sunday's game, between the first two named, are the two unbeaten sides after the opening two games with new Ireland skipper Laura Delany leading the Dragons while the Scorchers will include Ulster player Cara Matthews.

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