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Red-hot Dockrell puts Lightning in the driving seat

By Ian Callender

Leinster Lightning are in control of their Inter-provincial Championship game as international players past and present dominated the North West Warriors on day one at Bready.

Peter Chase, just back from Ireland T20 duty in Holland, and Max Sorensen, who retired from the Irish set-up last year, shared nine wickets as the Warriors were skittled for 80 inside 39 overs, and George Dockrell, batting as well as he has ever done, finished the day 84 not out to leave his Lightning side 113 runs in front with four first-innings wickets standing.

Dockrell had won the toss on an overcast morning and had no hesitation in asking his hosts to bat. When Warriors reached 36-1 after 80 minutes, he may have been questioning his decision, but when he called up Sorensen - only in the team because Tyrone Kane has a damaged finger - the ball started to talk and the wickets began to tumble.

Nine of them fell in the next 19 overs, with Sorensen making the breakthrough in his third over and following up with one in each of his next two overs, the big scalps of internationals Niall O'Brien and Stuart Thompson for a combined total of three runs.

When Chase returned for a second spell - he had removed Ireland's Test captain William Porterfield with a beauty in his fourth over - he picked up where he left off, and Andy McBrine and Graham Kennedy were dismissed in the space of four balls.

Sorensen ended the frustrating eighth-wicket stand between David Rankin, top scorer with 16, and Ross Allen, but it was Chase who was to claim the ball as the last three wickets fell in the space of six deliveries. The corresponding game last year finished in two days but, on a wicket which is already helping the bowlers, Warriors responded with four wickets while they were still in credit until Dockrell strode to middle to take over.

The international has already hit nine boundaries from 121 balls and, after finishing 98 not out in the Cup game against Northern Knights two weeks ago, no-one can deny him a century today.

Meanwhile, it was a tough day in the field at Carrickfergus for the Emerging Knights as Yorkshireman Harry Smallwood scored 138 not out, with 22 fours, for MCC. At the close, they trailed the Club by 115 runs with six wickets standing.

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