Blistering half-centuries from captain James Shannon and Greg Thompson were not enough to save the Northern Knights from a seven-wicket defeat to Leinster Lightning in last night’s Twenty20 Trophy game in Dublin.
Chasing the Knights’ total of 157 for eight, the Lightning cruised to the target with 17 balls to spare thanks to an unbroken 79-run partnership between Ireland internationals Andrew Balbirnie and John Anderson.
The Knights had the hosts in a semblance of trouble at 79 for three with Shane Getkate having take two wickets and Jacob Mulder one.
However, the Knights attack had no answer to the blistering offensive from the Lightning’s fourth-wicket pair, as Balbirnie struck 71 not out from just 44 balls, including five fours and three sixes.
Anderson was barely less severe on the visitors, hitting an unbeaten 41 from 25 balls, including five fours and a six.
Earlier, while Shannon and Thompson provided fireworks for the Knights, they were two of only three players to reach double figures.
At 48 for four, they were in all sorts of trouble, but Shannon took the attack back to the Dublin side, hitting four fours and four sixes, including a blistering assault on Ireland seamer Peter Chase.
However, he eventually perished for 51 from 35 balls just as he and Thompson were threatening to run riot.
Thompson was not deterred, striking eight fours and a six in a superb 56 from just 40 balls. But the only semblance of support came from Nikolai Smith with 21.
Simi Singh took three for 19 as the Lightning attack impressed.