MAL began their Middlesex Sunday Cricket League season with a comprehensive victory over West Middlesex CC at home on Sunday.
On winning the toss, Gav Lebens decided to have a bat, and a good score looked on the cards as a combination of good batting and poor bowling saw Mark Landau and Russ Corin take the score to 31 after two overs. Both were tough on any loose bowling and took the score to 81 before Corin presented a caught and bowled chance to the off-spinner Keogh and was dismissed for 27.
Landau followed soon after in the 16th, skying a catch to cover for 34. Yoav Lebens was joined by Pinty Baddiel, and both picked off runs easily, dispatching the bad balls and running well between the wickets. Lebens reached a well made 52 off 48 before lofting a catch to deep square leg off Maclennan.
The 4th and 5th wickets fell quickly with Matt Plax feathering an edge behind for 5, and Baddiel eventually playing on to his stumps for 33.
Gav Lebens cracked a quick 14, before some impressive stroke play in the later overs from Grant Traub took MAL to an imposing total of 268-7 from their 40 overs.
After tea, Yoav Lebens and Jon Begner took the new ball, and both passed the bat with regularity without much luck, before the first wicket fell to a run out, McLennan unable to beat Pinty Baddiel's excellent pick up and throw. 26-0 in the fifth was soon 40-4 as Begner hit the stumps twice with full, fast deliveries, and Yoav Lebens had the aggressive Ruffell caught by Baddiel at cover for 18. Both young seamers bowled through, Lebens picking up 1-21 from his 8, and Begner 2-42 from his.
Traub was quick to get amongst the wickets, having Rigby well held by Russ Corin at the wicket for 10.
Some loose bowling from Josh Begner, and some good batting from wicketkeeper Maini allowed West Middlesex to gain some respectability, but the game finished pretty quickly as MAL took the last five wickets for just two runs. Traub bowled Gunn for 10, and then had Maini well held at extra cover by Baddiel for a gutsy 38.
Michael Klinger had Healy well held at mid-off by Josh Begner for 0, before Traub bowled the last two batsmen for ducks to dismiss West Middlesex for 113 and to finish with the outstanding figures of 5-7 from 5.4 overs.
Whilst it was a very impressive win for MAL, there are still plenty of areas that can be improved as the season continues.
MAL 268-7 (40 overs) Y Lebens 52, Traub 42*, Landau 34, Baddiel 33, Corin 27, Burke 3-31, Maclennan 2-48
West Middlesex CC 113 (26.4 overs) Maini 38, Traub 5-7, Jon Begner 2-42, Klinger 1-2, Y Lebens 1-21