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North West Warriors seize a firm grip on title lead


To the fore: Andy McBrine was prominent for the Warriors

To the fore: Andy McBrine was prominent for the Warriors

©INPHO/Presseye/Barry Chambers

To the fore: Andy McBrine was prominent for the Warriors

North West Warriors increased their advantage at the top of the inter-provincial championship table to 14 points after their game against the Northern Knights at Bready petered out into a tame draw.

Resuming the final day on 98 for six, after the first day's play had been lost, Warriors skipper Andy McBrine and Graeme McCarter put on a record ninth-wicket stand of 137 to give them a first innings lead of 97.

Both were dismissed by James Cameron-Dow, who finished with eight in the innings.

But the Knights wiped out the deficit in 27 overs and Rassie van der Dussen helped himself to 61 before the teams agreed the draw at the start of the last hour, with the visitors on 124 for two.

The pitch played at its best last night so there was no realistic possibility of the Warriors pushing for the victory and they were content to pick up batting points - three for reaching 250.

McBrine was caught at point for 76, after facing a total of 143 balls and hitting six fours and two sixes, and Graeme McCarter for 72, including five fours and three sixes.

Meanwhile, Paul Stirling celebrated signing a one-year extension to his contract at Middlesex by hitting a personal best score of 254 in the 2nd XI Championship game against Glamorgan at Radlett.

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The Ireland opener hit 36 fours and two sixes in his innings and shared a second-wicket stand of 388 with his international team-mate Andrew Balbirnie, who made 205 in a Middlesex total of 654 for five.

SCORES: Northern Knights 167 (G Thompson 43; S Thompson 3-23) and 124-2 (42 overs, R van der Dussen 62 not out, L Nelson 32 not out) North West Warriors 264 (87.3 overs, A McBrine 76, G McCarter 72, K Vardhan 44; J Cameron-Dow 8-98). Match drawn.

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