Monday, June 17, 2024

Cricket Ireland: Lightning bolt to victory over Reds in opener

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Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland

The star-studded Leinster Lightning side brushed aside Munster Reds in a rain-interrupted match at Pembroke, signalling their clear intent to win back the T20 crown from Northern Knights.

The game was delayed by 30 minutes after early showers threatened the ability for groundstaff to have a playable surface ready, however, the hard work of those staff paid off and the game was duly underway a little after 2pm.

Disaster struck the Reds early when skipper Jack Tector was run out without facing a ball – which ended up being the first of three such dismissals. Jeremy Lawlor threatened early but fell for 12, and late call-up Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin compiled a quick 16 (including three boundaries), but the Lightning bowling attack asserted their dominance early and never let up.

While the pace trio of Tyrone Kane, Peter Chase and Curtis Campher grabbed a wicket apiece, it was the spin duo of Gareth Delany (3-8) and Simi Singh (1-12) that ran through the lower order and ensured there would be no tail-end revival.

The Reds’ JJ Garth struck four boundaries in a lone hand towards the end of 26 from 37 balls, but the Munster side succumbed in the last over, bowled out for 76.

After the innings break, the Lightning duo of Kevin O’Brien (45* from 27 balls) and Gareth Delany (25 from 19 balls) made short work of the Reds attack – their 65-run opening stand coming from just 42 balls.

The final 12 runs came from the next over, and the Lightning were victorious by 9 wickets with 12 overs to spare.

Leinster Lightning will look to build their momentum next week with matches against Northern Knights (Tuesday, Comber – 3pm) and North West Warriors (Thursday, Pembroke, 1.30pm).

Munster Reds will be back in action on 27 August against the Knights at Stormont.

Gareth Delany now heads off to England to play for Leicestershire in the Vitality Blast – his all-round efforts today sure to bolster his confidence ahead of the English competition starting next week.

Catch up with the match scorecard here.

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