Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
MTB NORTHERN Knights relinquished their hold on the T20 inter-provincial Trophy with a tame surrender to Leinster Lightning in their penultimate game in Pembroke yesterday.
The new champions won the game by five wickets with only seven balls to spare but they were always in control with Simi Singh the undisputed man of the match with an undefeated 39, comfortably the highest score of the game and he was also the most successful bowler.
It was Singh’s spell of 3-3 in seven balls which ripped the heart out of the Knights batting, as they slumped from 47-1 to 65-6.
Shane Getkate, CJ van der Walt, David Delany and Jacob Mulder all made it into double figures as the last four wickets almost doubled the total, but 128 was never going to be enough against such a strong Lightning line-up.
Josh Manley claimed the big wicket of Kevin O’Brien in the second over – he had already scored 19 off 10 balls – and Ruhan Pretorius, Mulder and, with only eight runs wanted, Delany each claimed a wicket but Singh was content to nudge his way to the modest victory target; he hit only two fours and a six in his 34 deliveries.
What will have disappointed Knights captain Gary Wilson most, however, was the poor shot selection from many of his batsman, surrendering their wickets rather than being got out.
They now face the long trip to Cork on Tuesday for what is now a meaningless final match.
Both yesterday’s other games, between Munster Reds and North West Warriors were abandoned with the North County outfield too wet for any play.
Scores: Northern Knights 128 (20 overs, H Tector 24; S Singh 3-15, T Kane 2-23, G Dockrell 2-30)
Leinster Lightning 131-5 (18.5 overs, S Singh 39 not out, L Tucker 20).
Lightning won by 5 wickets.