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Lightning determined to do it the difficult way

By Ian Callender

The search for an Ireland pace bowler to hold his hand up and demand a place in the international team continues after another mainly wayward and inconsistent day by the Leinster Lightning attack.

The visitors go into the last day of their inter-provincial against Northern Knights at Stormont leading by five runs with nine second innings wickets standing, including first innings centurion John Anderson. But apart from an impressive second spell by Eddie Richardson, the captain had to rely on his spinners to keep the runs and extras under control.

Extras, ridiculously, were top scorer with 68 (31 byes, 14 leg byes, 14 no balls, nine wides), that's 15 more than Jamie Holmes' 53 in the Knights' total of 320 for eight declared. Admittedly, Lightning had to change their wicket-keeper four overs after lunch because Jamie Grassi suffered a badly bruised hand but replacement Andrew Poynter could not be blamed for the balls misguidedly fired down leg side.

Although Tyrone Kane made the breakthrough after an opening stand of 104 between Nikolai Smith and Chris Dougherty, it was Richardson who followed up with the big wicket of Knights captain James Shannon for five.

But he couldn't keep going forever and George Dockrell and Simmi Singh then bowled in tandem for 26 overs to reduce the NCU side from 216 for three and a 95 runs stand between Holmes and Greg Thompson, to 262 for seven.

But Graeme McCarter, batting at No.7, finished in style, his unbeaten 42 including three fours and two sixes before Jacob Mulder's wicket led to the declaration. In the final seven overs there was time for McCarter to remove Dom Joyce but the bowlers' hard work continues today.

Scores: Leinster Lightning 306-3 dec (J Anderson 135 not out, D Joyce 71, S Terry 32) and 19-1 Northern Knights 320-8 dec (J Holmes 53, Ni Smith 52, G Thompson 43, G McCarter 42, C Dougherty 38; E Richardson 3-55, S Singh 2-31, G Dockrell 2-53). Today 11am-6.30pm

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