Maccabi Sunday League: MAL 199-8, Southgate 124. MAL won by 75 runs
Defending champions MAL started their Maccabi League campaign away to Southgate. On a hot day, Southgate skipper Richard Mitchell won the toss and invited MAL to bat first on what appeared to be an uneven surface.
Openers Grant Traub and Maccabiah-bound Gideon Caller put on an excellent first wicket partnership up against some tight bowling by Ray Bean. The scoring rate proceeded steadily. Grant took an instant liking to the bowling of Norman Bean upon his introduction dispatching him for two 4's and a huge six over in his first over.
Grant’s patience soon wore out and was bowled for a well made 37. Martin Smulovitch joined the impressive Caller and they took the score to 78-2 after 20 overs.
After a few overs Martin was adjuded LBW to Norman Bean. Yoav Lebens then fell cheaply, unfortunate to be trapped in front to a ball that pitched half way down and then shot along the ground.
Caller shortly followed for 50 having struck a fierce drive only to hit the man a short cover and bounce up to another fielder. It was a crucial and patient innings, on a difficult pitch which held the innings together nicely.
Steve Braude and Anthony Wise then contributed a few each but both fell trying to accelerate the score.
A fight-back was on looked on the cards when captain Gavriel Lebens came to the wicket to join Elliot Undstorfer with the score at 134-6 with only 6.5 overs left. The pair took the score to 152 with some big blows from Undstorfer before he was caught.
Gelley then was bowled for a duck which left MAL on 152- 8 with only just over four overs to go. A great unbeaten partnership of 46 then developed between Gavriel and Adam Katten. Lebens struck 33 off 16 balls hitting the ball to all parts interspersed with some nicely placed singles. Together with Katten who finished on 10 not out they ran very well between the wickets. This took the total up to 199 off their 40 overs. Dean picked up three wickets for Southgate.
Southgate's reply got off to a decent start with the excellent Ashley Smokler hitting some well-timed drives. Yoav Lebens then bowled Hart and Tony Wise picked up the second wicket.
The opening bowlers however failed to pick up another wicket and with the Taylor and Smokler forging a useful partnership the game looked to be in the balance. That is until the captain turned to Traub in the 17th over. His second ball bounced a bit extra and Taylor could only fend the ball off to Martin at point.
Two balls late he then spun the ball back to bowl a bemused batsman who has shouldered arms to the ball. Traub’s second over also produced a double wicket maiden that left Southgate’s hopes of victory in tatters.
Southgate then appeared to be prepared to shut up shop and play for bonus points. Traub finished up with 4-16 from his eight overs ably supported by Malcolm Siegal five overs for 15.
With Mitchell and Smokler seemingly immovable, Martin then got Smokler to play one drive too many and Grant held on to an excellent catch at short cover getting him out for 60.
With time running out and MAL in need of wickets, Gelley was then brought into the attack to try and and work some magic. Having dropped a caught and bowled off his first ball, he then proceeded to rip through the Southgate tail finshing with figures of 3-6. Southgate were dismissed for 124 in the 37th over.