JOE CARROLL has continued where he left off the 2017 season by claiming his second successive seven wicket haul to start Leinster's Premier title defence with a convincing win.
The amiable all-rounder reduced the Pembroke batting line-up to shreds as he took his best haul - 7 for 28 - in his eight seasons at Rathmines.
The former Tasmanian Under-19 player is earning rave reviews for his all-round performances and the stats back up the praise. Carroll has 3051 runs at 37.67, with 16 fifties and four centuries, while taking 211 wickets at just 14.65, including no fewer than nine hauls of five wickets or more.
What does he attribute his hot streak of wickets to?
"Both days the ball was really swinging around so I just tried to bowl the right lines and let the ball do its thing," Carroll told CricketEurope.
"Some days you can get the edges and some days you don't! "I've been lucky enough to find the edges the last couple of games and the guys have caught everything."
Carroll's haul of 42 wickets helped fire Leinster to the 2017 title, and he is confident they can repeat the feat, despite the cut-throat competiveness of Leinster top flight cricket.
"I think Leinster can win the title this year, as we have such belief at our club at the moment. We have a good balanced side, and have depth with 5 or 6 of the second team players really knocking on the door for first team selection, which all adds to the healthy competitive environment at Rathmines."
The 26 year-old is quick to praise the positive impact on the club of skipper George Dockrell, who led them to the title.
"I can't speak highly enough of George's captaincy and presence around the club. He brings all of us together and makes us better cricketers.
"We have a strong belief in each other and George is a big part of giving us that belief. He brings a real professionalism to us which has made a huge impact on us since he joined us after his time with Trinity last year," added Carroll.
Irish passport holder Carroll has featured for Leinster Lightning in previous seasons, although his appearances have been limited. Is he hopeful of playing on a more regular basis?
"The Lightning team are a really strong outfit and it's going to be very difficult to get a chance there. All I can do is put in good performances for Leinster and hopefully catch the eyes of the selectors."
Carroll was named in the Lightning Bolts squad for their clashes against the Emerging Knights, but both games fell foul to the weather.
It may not be much longer before he's back in the senior interprovincial fold, and who knows, a place in the green of Ireland may beckon on the horizon too.