Kevin O’Brien proves spark for Leinster Lightning victory in RSA Inter-Provincial Cup opener

Stunning unbeaten hundred denies Northern Knights

LeinsterLightning’s Kevin O’Brien in action during yesterday’s  RSA Inter-Provincial One-Day Trophy at The Hills, LCU, Skerries, Co Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

LeinsterLightning’s Kevin O’Brien in action during yesterday’s RSA Inter-Provincial One-Day Trophy at The Hills, LCU, Skerries, Co Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

Mon, May 6, 2013, 20:10

When Kevin O’Brien is on form the dangers are very real as he proved at Milverton yesterday as Leinster Lightning claimed a thrilling two-wicket win against Northern Knights in the opening game of the RSA Inter-Provincial Cup.

O’Brien rescued a losing cause with a stunning unbeaten hundred, a tennis-like smash off the first ball of the final over speeding to the boundary and ending the game to the delight of the home support in a crowd of over 700. It was a captain’s knock if ever there was one.

John Anderson (45) and Alex Cusack (46) had got Leinster off to a strong start in reply to the Knights’ 259 for seven after O’Brien had put them in to bat. A collapse from 136 for two to 189 for eight looked like derailing their chances before O’Brien and Fintan McAllister combined to hit 66 off 39 deliveries. O’Brien passed his 100 off 84 balls thanks to a misfield from the visiting side. A single helped him keep the strike going into the last over with five needed and when Nigel Jones’s high full toss got the tennis treatment, the added no ball ended a thriller in favour of the hosts.