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Think big: Gary Wilson says his boys must take confidence into crunch clash with Lightning

Think big: Gary Wilson says his boys must take confidence into crunch clash with Lightning

Think big: Gary Wilson says his boys must take confidence into crunch clash with Lightning

Gary Wilson has told his Northern Knights squad they are good enough to retain the T20 Interprovincial Trophy.

The Knights take on the star-studded Leinster Lightning line-up at Pembroke today (3pm) in what seems certain to be the game that will decide this year's title winners.

A fourth victory of the campaign for Lightning will give George Dockrell's side the title, but the Knights can leapfrog them with a repeat of last year's win at today's venue and send them into Tuesday's final game, against Munster Reds in Cork, with the crown in their hands.

"I've asked the guys to turn up with the confidence that we are a good side. I got the impression last year that we had a complex playing against Lightning, but after we beat them I saw a change, and we know we are every bit as good if not better than them," said Wilson.

In James McCollum they have a batsman in form after his superb 79 not out against North West Warriors on Tuesday, although the opening bowling attack of Mark Adair and Graham McCarter, who took six wickets, is broken up with the latter being unavailable.

"He is a hard act to replace but Mark is in great form and he is so easy to captain. He has all the skills and is great for the other bowlers to talk to. In the (World T20) qualifiers in Dubai last year I knew I could just throw him the ball (he finished the tournament with 12 wickets)," said Wilson.

McCarter will be replaced by CSN batsman Marc Ellison or Lisburn paceman Josh Manley.

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As for McCollum, Wilson said it was a reward for the Waringstown international's hard work.

"It was great to see," said Wilson. "With T20 not being his forte some were asking if he should even be in the Knights team, but he was never going to get any better watching so it was great to see him bat so well. He has worked hard on his game."

There are two other games today with the Warriors facing the Reds in back-to-back clashes in North County (10.15am and 2.30pm), the neutral venue chosen as the halfway house to cut down on travel in these unprecedented times. It will be a first win for at least one of the teams.


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