Unchanged Lightning Squad looking for response in Munster Reds Double Header
The Leinster Lightning have named an unchanged matchday squad of 12 to face the Munster Reds home and away this week as they look to respond to the setback of a 5-wicket defeat to the Northern Knights last Sunday.
An early assault from Paul Stirling and a steady innings from Jeremy Lawlor, meant a century from returning Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie and yet another eye-catching half-century from skipper Geroge Dockrell were in vain for the defending champions.
Having been on the back foot almost from the off against the Knights, Head Coach Nigel Jones is looking for his squad to take the lessons onboard and play smart over the next few matches.
“It’s obviously disappointing from a results point of view and there’s certainly a couple of areas we identified where we need to smarten up and improve.
“We rebuilt quite well after being two down within the first couple of overs,” continued Jones, “but we couldn’t quite get the push on that we would have liked up to the 20 over mark and never really got into our stride.”
Despite an impressive partnership between Balbirnie and Dockrell giving the Lightning a great launching pad after 40 overs, a fallow period early in the final 10 overs prevented any charge from the Lightning middle order.
“Knowing that ground so well, we probably needed 280,” admitted Jones. “Potentially we could have pushed a little earlier, but that period of 2-18 kind of killed us really and left us short at 244.
“With the ball, we knew what we wanted to do and where we wanted to put the ball for Stirling, but we sort of fed his strengths a little. Sometimes, the more you try to avoid something, the more it happens. It can’t be underestimated how destructive that innings was.
“The boys spoke honestly after the game, we know where we let ourselves down, but when the chance comes to Thursday, we’ll be looking to put that right and get ourselves back into the competition.
“Special mention again to young David O’Halloran in just his third game for the Lightning. He keeps impressing us with his attitude, his effort and ultimately his execution. I thought he had a reasonable day at the office for us given the situation of the game on Sunday so that’s really pleasing to see. At the training ground, we’ve got a number of young bowlers pushing hard and it’s great to see that and to keep developing as many as possible.
“From a batting perspective it was great to have Bal back and it was a quality knock from him, while the skipper continued his brilliant form for us.
I know the other guys will be keen to bounce back and we’ve spoken a little about that. Some haven’t quite hit their straps and have missed out this season but we’re looking for a response on Thursday and heading into the remaining games in the competition.”
Leinster Lightning continue their IP50 campaign with home and away fixtures against the Munster Reds this week. First up is a home fixture at Pembroke CC on Thursday May 20th, followed by a trip to Cork and The Mardyke on Saturday May 22nd. Both games will start at 10.45am.
Coverage of the games will be brought via the @cricketleinster twitter account and via the livestream production - details on the day.
Leinster Lightning is now sponsored by LHW Financial Planning whose logo will appear on the new playing kit and on advertising boards around the boundary at Pembroke CC - the support of LHW Financial Planning is hugely appreciated by players, management and fans alike.
Leinster Lightning Squad for 50-Over Cup v Munster Reds
Thursday May 20th, Pembroke CC, 10.45am
Saturday May 22nd, The Mardyke, Cork, 10.45am
- George Dockrell (capt) – Phoenix
- Lorcan Tucker (v/c) – Pembroke
- Andrew Balbirnie – Pembroke
- Peter Chase – Malahide
- Jamie Grassi – Phoenix
- Josh Little – Pembroke
- Barry McCarthy – Pembroke
- Kevin O’Brien – Railway Union
- David O’Halloran – Malahide
- Simi Singh – YMCA
- Jack Tector – YMCA
- Tim Tector – YMCA