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Skipper Getkate unable to inspire his Knights as Lightning strike again



Top bowler: Shane Getkate took three wickets for Knights

Top bowler: Shane Getkate took three wickets for Knights

Top bowler: Shane Getkate took three wickets for Knights

Leinster Lightning consolidated their position at the top of the T20 inter-provincial table with a second bonus-point victory, this time over a disappointing Northern Knights side who should have got much closer.

In last night's other game at Eglinton, North West Warriors also made it two wins out of two, but made heavy weather of getting over the line against Munster Reds, with Ricky Lee Dougherty hitting the last ball of the final over for six to give them a five-wicket success.

Despite the glorious sunny weather, there was only one innings of note with Andrew Balbirnie's 79 from 52 balls the major difference between the sides at Shaw's Bridge.

James Shannon, a surprise inclusion in the Knights side - he declared himself fit to replace Nigel Jones, who pulled out with injury - made a fast start but, after scoring 35 from 21 balls (three fours and three sixes), he was bowled by Tyrone Kane and the innings lost all momentum.

Some loose shots and reckless running - there were two run outs, including Waringstown skipper Greg Thompson without facing a ball - saw Knights collapse to 140 all out, three runs short of denying Lightning their bonus point, in only the 16th over.

Knights decided that spin was the way to go on the slow pitch, demoting Nikolai Smith to 12th man, but Balbirnie instantly took a liking to Jacob Mulder, Harry Tector and Gary Kidd and forced Shane Getkate, who retained the captaincy, to introduce Shannon in only the eighth over as the Knights' fourth slow bowler.

He proved the pick of the quartet in the first half of the innings but it was Getkate himself who made the breakthrough and was an oasis of accuracy, finishing with three for 23 in his four overs, while the other four overs of pace from Mark Adair and Peter Eakin, both wicketless, went for 47 runs.

Kidd and Mulder shared three wickets, but the 12 overs of spin cost 105 runs.

Balbirnie was particularly brutal, hitting nine fours and three sixes, while Sean Terry, Kevin O'Brien and Lorcan Tucker also cleared the boundary - O'Brien's innings of the short and sweet variety, dot, six, wicket.

Thanks to Shannon, who will not play for Instonians in their Challenge Cup tie at Cregagh today, the Knights were in total control after five overs on 60 for one, 19 runs better off than Lightning at the same stage, but although Knights remained ahead of the visitors' scoring rate throughout, their habit of giving away wickets meant they ran out long before the overs.

Ireland Test player Stuart Thompson made an almost identical start to Shannon as the Warriors set off in pursuit of Munster's 126 for eight, scoring 36 (five fours and two sixes) of the first 40 runs in just four overs.

But in the next over he was bowled by Yaqoob Ali, opening partner David Rankin was run out and the innings came to a virtual standstill despite William Porterfield and Andy McBrine being in the middle.

In the end, they timed their reply to perfection, without alarm, to reward Craig Young for an excellent four overs.

T20 Trophy scores: Shaw's Bridge: Leinster Lightning 178-6 (A Balbirnie 79, G Delany 25; S Getkate 3-23, G Kidd 2-43) Northern Knights 140 (15.5 overs, J Shannon 35, H Tector 26, S Getkate 21; T Kane 4-23, S Singh 2-37). Leinster Lightning won by 38 runs.

Eglinton: Munster Reds 126-8 (R Forrest 29, S Doheny 24; C Young 3-18, A McBrine 3-30) North West Warriors 127-5 (19.1 overs, S Thompson 36, A McBrine 26, W Porterfield 21). North West Warriors won by 5 wickets.

Belfast Telegraph