New Ireland T20 captain Gary Wilson made an instant impression on his white-ball debut for Northern Knights last night in Cork.
Just four days before he leads Ireland into T20 action against the Netherlands in Rotterdam, Wilson hit 80 off 45 balls with nine fours and three sixes as Knights cruised to a 39 runs victory over Munster Reds.
Wilson received good support from Greg Thompson who was 50 not out from 31 balls (four fours, three sixes), while James Shannon, the other Knight in the Ireland squad, was out for four but he opened the bowling and took two wickets.
The drama of the night came in the other game at Bready, where Leinster Lightning defended 99 to beat North West Warriors by four runs.
Andrew Balbirnie, also Holland-bound, top scored with 17 as the holders were bowled out with five balls unused - Kevin O'Brien was run out for 15 - and it looked plain sailing for Warriors when they reached 70-2 in the 15th over, Simi Singh having bowled four overs for eight runs.
But then the pressure began to tell. First Eddie Richardson had Andy McBrine caught for 15, then George Dockrell claimed the wicket of William Porterfield, for 38, in the next over and the momentum was with Lightning.
Warriors started the last over still needing 11 to win but although Graham Kennedy hit a boundary to leave them requiring five from the last two balls, Peter Chase bowled Kennedy and did the same to Andy Britton from the last to record one of the more remarkable victories.
Bready: Leinster Lightning 99 (19.1 overs, G Kennedy 3-15, S Thompson 2-20, C Young 2-30) North West Warriors 95-8 (W Porterfield 38; G Dockrell 3-15, E Richardson 2-18, P Chase 2-23). Lightning won by 4 runs.
The Mardyke: Northern Knights 195-5 (G Wilson 80, G Thompson 50 not out, S Getkate 22; J Benton 3-18) Munster Reds 156-6 (S Doheny 62, M Sorensen 48; J Shannon 2-29, P Eakin 2-34). Knights won by 39 runs.