Andy Balbirnie warmed up for next week's clash against England with a match winning century to help defending champions Leinster Lightning overcome a spirited Northern Knights in La Manga.

Chasing a challenging 291, early wickets for Harry Tector - earning  bragging rights by dismissing elder sibling Jack - and Graeme McCarter (2-33) saw the Knights look on top as the Dubliners slipped to 18 for 2.

The innings was completely revitalized by a match defining third wicket stand of 162 in just 153 balls between Balbirnie and his Pembroke team-mate Lorcan Tucker - the fourth highest stand in the revamped competition's history.

Tucker hit 8 fours and cleared the ropes three times in his 81 from 70 balls, and keeps himself firmly in the selectors minds for the busy May ODI series ahead.

Kevin O'Brien joined Balbirnie after Tucker fell, and the experienced duo calmly took their side to the brink of victory with a fourth wicket partnership of 89 in just 62 balls.

Balbirnie scored the 8th century in the 50 over format - his second - and his 125 from 126 balls (14 fours, 4 sixes) was the second highest individual score behind Simi Singh.

(The 8 centurions are Simi Singh (2), Andy Balbirnie (2), Andrew Poynter, Ed Joyce, Kevin O'Brien and William Porterfield).

O'Brien finished unbeaten on 49 from just 33 balls (4 fours, 1 six), as he and Singh (15*) saw Lightning coast to a six-wicket win with 19 balls remaining.

Earlier the Knights total of 290 for 8 was based once again on a fine innings from Marc Ellison, who anchored the innings perfectly with 85 from 112 balls (8 fours, 3 sixes).

He will have a tinge of regret though after missing out for the second time in two days on a landmark century.

He shared a second wicket stand of 89 with James Shannon (34), ended when Shannon was trapped lbw by George Dockrell, with the Lightning skipper going to have figures of 3 for 42.

Ellison added 54 with Harry Tector, with the latter hitting 4 fours and 2 sixes in his 57 from 59 balls.

Mark Adair provided the fireworks yet again, as he took a liking to Peter Chase, crashing four sixes in an over on his way to 31 from 12 balls, and giving him an outside chance of a place in the ODI squad.

Shane Getkate (23), Neil Rock (18*), and Gary Wilson (14) all chipped in, but the final total of 290 proved too light for the powerful Lightning line-up which looks yet again to have incredible strength and depth.

The interpros now take a break for the ODI series, with the next game scheduled for May 23rd when Warriors face Lightning at Bready.

MATCH SCORECARD

https://www.cricketeurope.com/DATABASE/2019/SCORECARDS/349265.shtml