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Pretorius wins Knights call-up for Stormont inter-pro clash


New Knight: Ruhan Pretorius
New Knight: Ruhan Pretorius

By Ian Callender

Ruhan Pretorius, the North Down professional, will make his debut for Northern Knights in the Inter-provincial Championship game against Leinster Lightning, starting at Stormont this morning (11am).

Murray Commins, who missed Instonians' heavy defeat by Carrickfergus on Sunday - Jacques Snyman's huge 190 not out was the difference - has had to withdraw from the squad and Pretorius has been named as his batting replacement, but will now offer Knights an extra seam bowler.

The 28-year-old South African is committed to staying in Ireland so this first representative appearance could be the prelude to an international career.

Knights welcome back Graeme McCarter, on his home ground, and Neil Rock, who both missed last week's drawn game between the teams, while Marc Ellison is also in form after hitting 129 not out for Civil Service North in their three-wicket league win over North Down on Sunday.

Lightning have the momentum from the game at Pembroke, after bowling out Knights for 131 in the second innings, and they are also strengthened by the return of Andrew Balbirnie.

The Ireland international No.3 was forced to pull out of the game on his home ground, with a recurrence of a back injury, but he proved his fitness in Sunday's Irish Cup semi-final and will take the place of Gareth Delany in the 12-man squad this week.

Balbirnie hit 54 from 46 balls in Pembroke's comfortable seven-wicket win over Phoenix to set up a final date with holders Waringstown, and team-mate Barry McCarthy also warmed up for this week's action with an impressive four-wicket haul.

Lorcan Tucker is taking exams this week and he is replaced by Merrion keeper Patrick Tice.

TEAMS: Northern Knights: G Wilson (capt),H Tector, M Adair, J Cameron-Dow, D Delany, M Ellison, M Foster, S Getkate, G McCarter, J McCollum, J Mulder, N Rock.

Leinster Lightning: G Dockrell (capt), A Balbirnie, P Chase, S Doheny, T Kane, J Little, B McCarthy, C McLoughlin-Gavin, K O'Brien, S Singh, J Tector, P Tice.

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