Northern Knights got their inter-provincial campaign off to a bonus point winning start over a Leinster Lightning side fielding three of the Ireland team on duty on Chelmsford on Sunday.

Lorcan Tucker topped scored with 72 and George Dockrell and Harry Tector also played but although the Knights were forced to play without Mark Adair and James McCollum pulled out just before the start, a superb 87 from third choice skipper Neil Rock was the match-winning innings.

McCollum, in the Test match squad for the game at Lord’s in 15 days’ time, was taken out as a precaution with a knee injury but he hopes to play at Stormont on Monday in the Knights’ next game against Munster Reds on Monday.

Adair will lead that team and he should have a super-confident side after this impressive opening. 

Ruhan Pretorius led the charge with 52 off 56 balls, hitting the only two sixes in the opening stand of 38 with Ross Adair who was the first of two victims for Barry McCarthy, the Ireland international making a welcome return after being ruled out of the tours to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Cade Carmichael, in superlative form for Instonians, maintained the momentum with 43 off 51 in a stand of 67 with Morgan Topping but his dismissal only let in Rock who passed his previous best List A score of 81 in a 60-ball innings which included 12 fours and three sixes.

With Rock getting excellent support from Tyron Koen - one of four CIYMS players in the team - who scored 27 off 17, Knights plundered 80 from the last six overs, with Simi Singh and Fionn Hand among the bowlers to suffer.

The Knights bowlers took that momentum into the Lightning reply with Tom Mayes and Matthew Foster among the wickets and with Matthew Humphreys claiming the huge wicket of Harry Tector for one, caught at long-off, Lightning were reduced to 51 for four.

Tucker was the major stumbling block for the visitors but just when he threatened to overhaul’s Rock score, he was caught behind off Koen with the total on just 150. After that, the Knights were in control.