Odran Flynn (CricketEurope)
After a day of fluctuating fortunes, North-West Warriors ended the first day of the second IPT20 Festival still on top of the table while Munster Reds comprehensively defeated Leinster Lightning and relegated them to the bottom of the table.
In the first game on a cold blustery day, Warriors held off the challenge of second placed Northern Knights by a single run.
Harry Tector won the toss and decided to insert Warriors on a spongy two-paced wicket. His decision seemed to be a prescient one as his bowlers picked up three early wickets for 31, one delivery into the second powerplay.
However, a blistering partnership between Shane Getkate and William McClintock added 84 in just 51 balls which, as it transpired, was the key factor in the victory.
William McClintock hits a six: Pic Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
McClintock yet again showed a new maturity as he was selective in his hitting but when he did hit out it was spectacular, with 3 fours the aperitif for 4 enormous maximums one of which necessitated a call to the local glazier to fix a gaping hole in a pavilion window.
Getkate was not as spectacular but still scored at a strike rate of 124. When McClintock chopped on for 54 followed soon afterwards by Getkate for 36 the momentum has swung back to the Knights.
Andy McBrine marshalled the tail and his unbeaten 27 pushed his side to a competitive total of 160. Luke Georgeson dismissed both batsmen in that crucial partnership and finished with 2-30.
Mark Adair bowled well, and his four overs only cost 21 runs while he took the wicket of Graham Kennedy. Ben White continues to impress and, on a wicket, more suitable to the seam bowlers he collected one wicket for 23 runs.
When Paul Stirling fell for a single thanks to a ball from Craig Young that stopped on the surface, the favourites tag was firmly in the Warriors corner and that was reinforced when three further wickets fell by the time the score had reached 44 halfway through the seventh over.
Mark Adair and Ruhan Pretorius with 23 and 14 respectively kept the run chase going but 49 was needed from the 21 balls.
That Knights got within two runs of victory was largely down to a fine knock from Neil Rock whose 45 came from just 30 balls and Ross Adair with a 12 ball 26.
However, the failure of Adair to respond to Rock’s call which caused the latter’s run out left the Knights agonisingly short.
McBrine with 1-19 and Graham Hume 1-24 were the pick of the bowlers.
The first game was close, but the Reds win was anything but as their bowlers ran through a lack lustre Lightning batting line up and if it had not have been for Simi Singh who had got to 61 when he became the eighth wicket to fall at 101, the Leinster men would not have reached three figures.
Kevin O'Brien trapped lbw by Josh Manley: Pic Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Opening bowlers Aaron Cawley with 1-20 and Josh Manley 2-15 kept the pressure on throughout their spells and Fionn Hand chipped in with another couple of wickets as well as taking a stunning catch to dismiss Rory Anders.
The Frost brothers 20-year-old Michael and 22-year-old Alistair, on debut, each got two wickets and their combined six overs only cost 29 runs.
When Barry McCarthy convinced the umpire to give LBW decisions with the second and third balls of the innings, the winning post must have seemed a long way away for the Reds.
However, PJ Moor finally produced an innings that everyone knew he is capable of.
His 95 not out off 58 deliveries punctuated with 10 fours and 4 sixes saw his side win their second game of the tournament with two overs to spare.
PJ Moor on his way to 95 not out: Pic Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
It also took his side to an unprecedented second in the table and this without the three premier Ireland internationals who are all injured.
Jack Carty and Matt Ford played sensible innings, turning over the strike to the Zimbabwean and letting him see the team home.
Other than McCarthy’s first over burst the Reds were never under pressure and the confidence that this performance will give them should see other wins during the remainder of the tournament.
Lightning have a lot of soul searching to do especially in relation to their batting and they need to turn their fortunes around very quickly.
That process must start tomorrow.
North-West Warriors beat Northern Knights by 1 run.
Warriors 160-6 in 20 overs (W. McClintock 54, S. Getkate 36, L. Georgeson 2-30, M. Adair 1-21)
Knights 159-8 in 20 overs (N. Rock 45, G. Kennedy 1-3, A. McBrine 1-19)
Munster Reds beat Leinster Lightning by 7 wickets.
Lightning 133-9 in 20 overs (S. Singh 61, M. Frost 2-14, J. Manley 2-15, A. Frost 2-15)
Reds 137-3 in 18 overs (PJ Moor 95*, B McCarthy 2-25)