WHILE David Delany was bowling at his hostile best, Northern Knights scented victory and if Tyrone Kane had been caught when he had scored just a single, Leinster Lightning would have been three wickets from defeat.
Instead from 179-6, Kane went on to hit 31 in a stand of 65 with Simi Singh and when the seventh wicket eventually did fall, Lightning were just two runs from a third successive victory.
It had been the almost perfect plan. Skipper Gary Wilson called for a helmet for Neil Rock to field five yards from the bat at short leg.Delany's next ball, predictably, was short, it took Kane’s bat as he fended it away but it went seven yards away, tantalisingly out of Rock’s reach and Delany or Knights wouldn’t come as close again.
Until Delany returned for his second spell it had all gone to form.
(Lorcan Tucker scored 83: Pic Rodney Smythe)
Apart from James McCollum’s 60 from 77 balls and Rock’s attacking 48 from just 36 at the end of the Knights’ innings, the Lightning bowlers were in control with George Dockrell’s left arm spin and Josh Little’s left arm pace proving a lethal combination.
A total of 240-9 was below par and despite Knights taking four wickets in the first half of the Lightning reply, including Jack Tector - top scorer in the title-sealing victory against the North West Warriors last Tuesday - first ball, the hosts were halfway to their target and Singh had just joined Lorcan Tucker who was 62 not out.
The Ireland internationals added another 50 in nine overs, including a stunning extra cover drive on the up from Tucker to welcome Mark Adair back to the crease for his second spell.
It wasn’t to be Adair’s day but he did have the last laugh on Tucker when the wicket-keeper holed out to long leg 17 short of his century.
By now Delany was back at the pavilion end and it wasn’t coincidence that Tucker had been dismissed five balls after he had pulled a ball from the Clontarf paceman onto his helmet.
Greg Ford was the next batsman and immediately in trouble, trying to fend off the short, sharp deliveries. He lasted only five balls before tamely hitting straight to mid-on.
Five was definitely the number at this stage because it was Kane’s fifth ball which just went over Rock’s head but Carl Robinson, who, on his Knights' debut took the wicket of Curtis Campher, was hit by Singh for a six and a four in the next over and the pressure was off.
|MP Ellison||lbw||b JB Little||1||8||4||0||0|
|JA McCollum||st LJ Tucker||b Simi Singh||60||111||77||5||1|
|HT Tector||c Simi Singh||b TE Kane||20||54||39||2||0|
|GC Wilson*+||b PKD Chase||22||53||38||2||0|
|R Pretorius||b GH Dockrell||17||38||24||2||0|
|SC Getkate||lbw||b GH Dockrell||22||51||40||1||1|
|MR Adair||c JB Little||b Simi Singh||15||37||20||1||0|
|NA Rock||c TE Kane||b PKD Chase||48||52||36||4||1|
|DCA Delany||c LJ Tucker||b JB Little||18||23||21||0||0|
|GJ McCarter||not out||2||13||2||0||0|
|C Robinson||not out||0||2||0||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb4 w10 nb1)||15|
|TOTAL||9 wickets for||240|
|1-2(MP Ellison) 2-48(HT Tector) 3-107(JA McCollum) 4-107(GC Wilson)|
|5-141(R Pretorius) 6-155(SC Getkate) 7-187(MR Adair) 8-226(DCA Delany)|
|KJ O'Brien||lbw||b MR Adair||11||7||6||2||0|
|JB Tector||c GC Wilson||b GJ McCarter||0||3||1||0||0|
|ST Doheny||c GC Wilson||b GJ McCarter||26||61||45||4||0|
|LJ Tucker+||c R Pretorius||b MR Adair||83||139||84||8||1|
|C Campher||c MP Ellison||b C Robinson||16||43||35||1||0|
|Simi Singh||not out||63||88||58||5||2|
|G Ford||c MP Ellison||b DCA Delany||0||7||5||0||0|
|TE Kane||c SC Getkate||b DCA Delany||31||40||25||4||0|
|GH Dockrell*||not out||4||2||1||1||0|
|extras||(b0 lb6 w2 nb1)||9|
|TOTAL||7 wickets for||243|
|1-7(JB Tector) 2-11(KJ O'Brien) 3-79(ST Doheny) 4-122(C Campher) 5-172(LJ Tucker)|
|6-174(G Ford) 7-239(TE Kane)|