MAL CC recorded their fourth consecutive victory with a five wicket sucess over an Ickleford CC side comprising a number of promising colts.
Ickleford won the toss and elected to bat, and got off to a decent start with Howard and Morris picking up singles and the odd boundary, though Landau and Jenne bowled good opening spells. Jenne soon made the breakthrough as Gelley held on to a good catch at short cover diving forward, before bowling Draper.
Ickleford were quickly 3 down as Landau picked up his first wicket thanks to a catch by Michael Klinger at mid-off. After eight overs of toil in the heat Landau was replaced by Klinger who soon picked up a first wicket of the season thanks to a sharp piece of work by Rowe behind the sticks, stumping Clark for nine. Levy got in on the act at the other end with a good catch from Djanogly and one that kept low accounting for Marsden. Mal then squandred a number of chances in the field before Klinger picked up his second with Cheesman being LBW. It looked as if the excellent Howard might be stranded, having watched the carnage from the other end, but some lusty late hitting gave him some much needed support. His long vigil was eventually ended for 72 off Gav Lebens’ first ball, the skipper clutching on to a sharp caught and bowled chance.
Lebens also bowled Gornall with a ball that swung back in, before the 10th wicket pair showed some much needed resistance, forcing Lebens to turn to his openers. There was time for Sam Howard to connect with a big six over mid off from Jenne’s bowling before Landau picked up the big hitting no. 11 with his second ball back thanks to a good catch from Lebens at cover.
After tea Landau and Rowe looked to continue their good form from last week, and started well, taking the score to 30 before Rowe was sharply taken at cover off Gornall. Aron Bass hit his first two balls for 4, but departed in the exact same fashion. Matt Plax came out to join Landau, and although the colts were bowling some good balls, there was too much loose stuff, and the score started to rack up, 125 coming up in the 15th over. Landau soon brought up his 50 from 45 balls, shortly followed by Plax, who smashed his way to 50 from just 27 balls. With drinks coming at 20 overs and the score on 155, the pair retired to give some much needed time in the middle to some others with Landau on 58 and Plax on 53.
Jenne and Katten took the score to 178 before Katten was unluckily given LBW for 11, and the third wicket was followed by a brief wobble as Djanogly attempted a huge slog and was bowled, and Gelley ran himself out with some suicidal running. With two needed Jenne put one straight down deep long on’s throat, which was fortunately dropped, and Klinger hit the winning run next ball with his customary forehand.
The win proves MAL’s squad is in strong shape going in to 2 important league games in the next two weeks.