JOHN Blain’s Eastern Knights yesterday launched their CS Pro50 Cup campaign with a convincing win over Western Warriors at The Grange.

New coach Blain saw his side struggle with the bat as they made just 215 in the face of some tight bowling from their rivals.

However, his team fought back brilliantly with the ball to justify their tag as favourites to win the three-team regional tournament.

Blain, though, believes both teams could be content with their opening day efforts.

He said: “We are a more experienced team with a lot of internationals and I think that showed.

“But the Warriors have some really good individuals and I think they will improve as a unit as the tournament goes on.

“It’s great for us to start with a win but this competition is all about giving players a platform and a few guys in both teams have taken advantage of that.”

One of those was undoubtedly Warriors spinner Hamza Tahir who did most to peg back the Knights after several home batsmen had made promising starts.

The Ferguslie left-armer claimed 4-29 while Mitchell Rao, fresh from his Scotland A debut in midweek, claimed the prize scalp of Preston Mommsen.

Mommsen, though, had already compiled 48 – the top score of the day – with three boundaries and two maximums while George Munsey weighed-in with a useful 37 to emphasise Blain’s point about the Knights’ experience.

Warriors debutant Mo Awais got the visitors’ reply off to a promising start with eight boundaries in his 44 while player-coach Con de Lange hit 43.

However, Scotland spinner Mark Watt claimed 3-15 and Dylan Budge had 3-30 as the Knights hit back to secure victory.

Caley Highlanders enter the fray next weekend when they entertain the Knights.