Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship: Wins for Lightning and Reds at T20 blitz

Andrew Balbirnie
Andrew Balbirnie hit two sixes for Leinster with a total of 22 maximums scored on the first day of the T20 blitz

Leinster Lightning and Munster Reds were convincing winners on the opening day of the inaugural Inter-Provincial T20 blitz at Pembroke cricket club.

Leinster continued the defence of their T20 title with a 27-run defeat of Northern Knights in the second game of the evening at the Dublin venue.

Munster cruised to a six-wicket victory over North-West Warriors in the opener.

The six-game festival will see all four teams play against each other between 6-8 July.

Andrew Balbirnie helped the hosts to their fourth successive win over Northern Knights.

The opener hit two two sixes and eight boundaries in his knock of 72, which helped Leinster to a total of 207 from their 20 overs.

The Knights were soon in trouble in their reply as Nigel Jones was dismissed with only four runs on the board and they never recovered from that early set back as they finished 27 runs short.

Earlier, Aaron Gillespie's unbeaten knock was not enough to help a youthful Warriors to avoid a six-wicket loss.

Gillespie finished on 80 no but the Warriors could only manage a total of 162 runs and Stephen Doheny's half-century helped the Reds to clinch their first-ever T20 win with 18 balls to spare.

With a further four matches to be played over Saturday and Sunday, Leinster remain top of the table with the Warriors on two victories while the Reds and Knights have one win apiece.

Leinster Lightning v Northern Knights at Pembroke

Leinster Lightning 207-5: A Balbirnie 72, G Dockrell 32; M Adair 2-40

Northern Knights 180-9: S Getkate 45, H Tector 36; T Kane 5-33

Leinster Lightning won by 27 runs

Munster Reds v North-West Warriors at Pembroke

North-West Warriors 162-7: A Gillespie 80 no, A McBrine 37; Y Ali 2-37, D Delaney 2-30

Munster Reds 163-4 (17 overs): S Doheny 64, R Forrest 36; A McBrine 2-32

Munster Reds won by six wickets