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Dennison Double Hundred Puts Knights In Control

Cricket Ireland

Adam Dennison scored a record-breaking double hundred as the Northern Knights assumed total control on the first day of their Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship clash with the NW Warriors at Comber. The 19 year-old made the highest individual score at the North Down venue, overhauling the 203 by the late Indian Test star Raman Lamba back in 1987, and the more recent 204 in a schools match by Warwickshire's Mark Adair.

Dennison's 206 allowed the Knights to declare on 400 for 6, giving his side 15 overs at the Warriors before the close in which they lost four wickets. The Waringstown teenager was at his fluent best, scoring heavily in his favourite region between third man and cover with many of his 28 boundaries coming in that area. He became increasingly confident as the innings progressed, reaching his century from 171 balls, while taking only a further 71 to make it to the double hundred - the last fifty of which came off just 23 deliveries as he went quickly through the gears as the Knights searched for quick runs.

Dennison became the second double centurion in the competition's history - Nick Larkin's 247 for the Knights against Leinster Lightning was the other - with three runs off Sri Lankan Test spinner Sauraj Randiv, but his epic innings was ended shortly after when he chipped the off-spinner to Stuart Thompson at midwicket. He shared a 3rd wicket partnership of 180 in just 208 balls with Surrey's Gary Wilson - playing his first inter-provincial game since the competition was relaunched in 2013.

Wilson made a fluent 63 (7 fours, 1 six) before becoming one of Craig Young's three wickets - one of the few Warriors bowlers to impress on an otherwise instantly forgettable day. Lee Nelson (32*) and Shane Getkate (26) inflicted further punishment on a beleaguered Warriors attack as they shared a 6th wicket stand of 57 in just 35 balls before James Shannon mercifully pulled the plug.

With the Knights needing to win the game in order to stand a chance of pipping Leinster Lightning to the Championship title, Shannon knew they had to bowl the Warriors out twice to gain full points. His bowlers made a fine start to their task in the last hour, claiming the wickets of the Bready pair of David Rankin (15) and Andrew Austin (0) - both trapped lbw to Robert McKinley and Phil Eaglestone respectively, while the Waringstown man also had Ross Allen (8) caught behind by Wilson.

It could have been even worse for the Warriors as skipper McBrine was dropped by Shane Getkate at third slip off Eaglestone before he had scored, but they did lose a fourth wicket when McKinley claimed his second wicket as he dismissed night-watchman Barnes (1) in the penultimate over of the day.

It will take an amazing rearguard action if the Warriors are to salvage anything from the contest - their rescue mission resumes tomorrow (TUES) at 11am.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 400-6 dec (86.5 overs; A Dennison 206, G Wilson 63, L Nelson 32*, S Getkate 26, J Shannon 26, C Young 3-85)
NW WARRIORS 38-4 (15 overs; R McKinley 2-10, P Eaglestone 2-17)

Play resumes on Tuesday morning at 11am