Ireland Inter-Provincial (T20) Trophy: Warriors win but Reds show credentials with six blitz
Defending Inter-Provincial (T20) Trophy champions North West Warriors started their 2022 campaign with a convincing seven-wicket over their northern rivals, Northern Knights, on the first day of the first Inter-Provincial T20 Festival at North Down Cricket Club, but it was Munster Reds’ devastating assault on Leinster Lightning’s bowlers in the second game of the day that grabbed the plaudits.
This is Day One of the first of three T20 Festivals for 2022 with the weekend’s fixtures being:
- 27/05/2022 Northern Knights v North West Warriors (start 11am)
- 27/05/2022 Leinster Lightning v Munster Reds (start 3.30pm)
- 28/05/2022 North West Warriors v Leinster Lightning (start 11am)
- 28/05/2022 Munster Reds v Northern Knights (start 3.30pm)
- 29/05/2022 North West Warriors v Munster Reds (start 11am)
- 29/05/2022 Northern Knights v Leinster Lightning (start 3.30pm)
Game 1: Northern Knights v North West Warriors
In the first game of the day, home side Northern Knights fell to a seven-wicket defeat after the North West Warriors won the toss and elected to bowl first in cool but dry conditions.
Northern Knights v North West Warriors, Inter-Provincial Trophy, Comber, 27 May 2022
Knights 149-8 (20 overs; R Pretorius 40, M Adair 39; G Hume 3-29)
Warriors 152-3 (16.3 overs; S Doheny 74*; J Manley 1-16)
Result - North West Warriors won by 7 wickets
Knights’ openers James McCollum (11) and Max Burton (22) began with positive intent, striking four boundaries between the pair in the first three overs. Burton, who is replacing Paul Stirling at the top of the Knights order while the Irish international is playing in the Vitality Blast, took on Graham Hume in the second over, hitting consecutive fours – but Hume had his revenge in the next over by removing McCollum who struck a full-blooded pull shot straight to Andy McBrine at mid-wicket.
Burton flashed at a wide ball from Warriors debutant Trent McKeegan giving the Newbuildings pace bowler his first wicket at inter-provincial level.
Jeremy Lawlor and Ruhan Pretorius came together for a quickfire 34-run stand – Lawlor’s 12-ball 17 was lively, before he holed out at long-on, neatly taken by William McClintock leaving the Knights at 76-3 in the 11th over.
When Knights captain Mark Adair, fresh off a maiden List A century on Tuesday in the 50-over Cup competition, strode to the crease to join Pretorius the Knights were looking to push the run rate forward. The pair put on 65 for the 4th wicket from just 39 balls – Pretorius striking three fours and two big sixes in his 34-ball 40, while Adair struck three fours and three sixes in his 39 from 24 balls. Where Adair had shown his bludgeoning best on Tuesday, today he demonstrated a defter touch – gliding a six over the third boundary, following up with a neat sweep for four off left-arm spinner Graham Kennedy. However, he was adjudged LBW in the 18th over - giving McBrine his only wicket of the day – and the Knights, for all of their destructive shot-making, were still seeking a final flourish to post a competitive total on a batter-friendly pitch.
It was the Warriors, though, that finished the stronger – taking 5-7 in the space of 25 balls, and where the Knights during the Pretorius/Adair partnership looked odds-on for a total around 180, they finished a below-par 149-8 from their 20 overs. Hume’s 3-29 and Conor Olphert’s 2-23 were the standout bowling performances, and the Warriors would certainly have gone into the innings break the happier side.
With regular opener William Porterfield missing from weekend’s action, the Warriors opted for the young but explosive pairing of Stephen Doheny and Nathan McGuire. The batting duo – average age 21 – put on 33 runs in the first three overs to inject early momentum into the run chase, but on 14 McGuire flashed at a ball too close to his body and feathered Josh Manley through to Neil Rock for the first wicket.
Jared Wilson was promoted up the order and struck a 16-ball 22 to ensure the required run rate remained under control. Wilson’s innings featured a pick-up shot for six off Tom Mayes that, if it wasn’t for the high fences around the eastern side of the ground, would have caused damage to the neighbouring houses. He fell to Adair trying to swat a slow bouncer, caught by Matthew Humphreys at long on.
Doheny, though, was continuing to build his innings at the other end. He brought up his half-century from just 35 balls, striking four maximums along the way, before going on to post 74* from 49 balls. The opener had compiled just 49 runs in three innings so far in the 50-over inter-provincial competition, but today looked in imperious touch as he led from the front. Known for his ability to clear the ropes with ease, Doheny put on a display today finishing with five sixes, keeping match referee Phil Thompson busy shuttling replacement balls out to the middle.
After Shane Getkate came and went for 5, Doheny was joined by McBrine and the pair saw the Warriors home with 21 balls to spare, the Warriors captain chiming in with a cameo of 28* from 15 balls.
While it was a comprehensive team display by the defending T20 champions, Doheny’s knock stood out and he was named Player of the Match for his equal highest T20 score after hitting the same total against Namibia A in March.
Game 2: Leinster Lightning v Munster Reds
In the second game of the day, the Munster Reds, are today sitting in top spot of both the 50-over Cup competition and now the T20 Trophy competition after a devastating display of power-hitting.
Leinster Lightning v Munster Reds, Inter-Provincial Trophy, Comber, 27 May 2022
Lightning 188-6 (20 overs; T Tector 62*, S Singh 40; C Campher 3-49)
Reds 190-4 (14.4 overs; K O’Brien 64*, T Kane 62, G Delany 42; J Carty 2-13)
Result - Munster Reds won by 6 wickets
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, the Leinster Lightning opening combination of Andrew Balbirnie and Simi Singh got off to a flyer, hitting 32 from the first 18 balls. Shortly after, Balbirnie (18 from 11 balls) was the first to be dismissed lofting Tyrone Kane to wide mid-off where Matt Ford took a comfortable running catch.
Singh didn’t let up, striking a six into the car park and five boundaries to register a 19-ball 40, before being caught by a well-judged boundary rope catch by Curtis Campher off Fionn Hand.
At 68-2 in the 7th over, the loss of Singh brought the Tector brothers – Tim and Harry - together. Through a combination of ambitious lofted drives and hustling between the wickets, the pair put on 43 from the next five overs, before Harry attempted a flick off his pads only to sky the ball to Liam McCarthy at deep square leg, out for 22.
Tim Tector continued to hit out, bringing up his maiden T20 half-century from 35 balls and going on to register 62* from just 44 balls. His 73-minute innings, a testament to judicious striking and fine placement, was the YMCA batters highest score in this format for the Lightning.
Lorcan Tucker (23), George Dockrell (10) and Barry McCarthy (7) came and went as the Leinster side piled on late runs, going into the break with 188-6 from their 20 overs.
Needing 9.45 runs per over from the outset, the Munster Reds started poorly, losing captain PJ Moor for a duck in the first over – bowled by Jack Carty – then saw Moor’s opening partner Murray Commins edge Carty to Balbirnie at first slip, also out for a duck.
However, Gareth Delany (42) and Tyrone Kane (62) began what could best be described as an assault on the Leinster bowlers. The pair put on an incredible 91-run stand from just 36 balls, striking nine sixes and six fours between them in a domineering display of power hitting. Both batters hit through the line with confidence, not just clearing the ropes but regularly clearing the 20-foot high fences around eastern side of the ground.
The gathered spectators were enjoying the entertainment until Delany attempted to sweep Singh, only to miss the ball and have the delivery bounce off his back leg and onto the stumps.
Player of the Match Kane powered on, bringing up his half-century in just 19 balls, while his new batting partner, Kevin O’Brien, joined in the run-feast. O’Brien and Kane put on 55 from 34 balls, making light work of the Leinster bowlers until Kane swiped at a wide angled ball from Mikey O’Reilly and got an under-edge through to Lorcan Tucker.
O’Brien promptly registered his half-century from 25 balls, pushing on to 64* with two massive sixes off what ended up being the last two balls of the match. The Reds had remarkably recovered from 2-2 after the first over to chase from 189 with more than 30 balls to spare.
In all, the Reds struck 15 sixes and 14 fours, earning a bonus point and moving to the top of the table.
©Cricket World 2022