Champions Lightning start with impressive win over Warriors
Reigning champions Leinster Lightning started the defence of their Hanley Energy Interprovincial Cup crown with a convincing 105-run win over the North West Warriors at the Hills on Monday.
A beautiful setting and sizeable crowd provided the backdrop for John Anderson’s team as they comfortably held off Andy McBrine’s men; Lightning picking up where they left off in an all-conquering 2016 campaign.
Chasing the hosts’ daunting 286 the Warriors managed 181 all out in reply with Bready’s overseas player Iroosh Samasooriya their standout performer with a battling 77 (13 fours). The Sri Lankan looks a decent capture based on this showing but unfortunately for his side the bowlers were otherwise on top.
A 63-run stand between Samasooriya and Ricky-Lee Dougherty (24) briefly threatened to let the North West side back in after the hosts had seized the initiative, however George Dockrell (3-37), Kevin O’Brien (2-24) and Peter Chase (2-40) had other ideas.
O'Brien earned bragging rights in the Sandymount family home as he dismissed older brother Niall, and then trapped McBrine lbw next ball - a double blow from which the Warriors never looked like recovering despite the best efforts of Samasooriya.
The visitors also contributed to their own downfall with a couple of ill-timed run-outs but in truth the Dubliners rarely looked like being overhauled.
Earlier in the day Lightning had posted their 286 courtesy of a solid showing from their middle order. Kevin O’Brien top scored with 75 (7 fours, 4 sixes), sharing in a 97-run partnership with Simi Singh who finished unbeaten on 70 (6 fours, 2 sixes).
John Anderson and Andy Balbirnie both made 40 while at the top of the order, Ed Joyce chipped in with 23 on his Lightning debut.
Niall O’Brien was making his first appearance in a Warriors shirt and the former Leinster player claimed five catches to mark the occasion.
Craig Young came back very well in his second spell to finish with figures of 4-50 while Johnny Thompson picked up 2-46 on his North West comeback.
Coleraine’s new signing Steve Lazars bowled well to take 2-44 with Andy Britton (1-31) and Stuart Thompson (1-58) the others on the mark.
In the end though the class and experience of Anderson’s men told and it will take something special to wrestle those trophies out of Dublin this summer.
Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Cup
At The Hills, Leinster Lightning beat North West Warriors by 105 runs
Leinster Lightning 286 all out in 49.2 overs (K O’Brien 75, S Singh 70*, J Anderson 40, A Balbirnie 40, E Joyce 23, C Young 4-50, S Lazars 2-44, J Thompson 2-46)
North West Warriors 181 all out in 44.2 overs (I Samasooriya 77, RL Dougherty 24, G Dockrell 3-37, K O’Brien 2-24, P Chase 2-40)