MAL bounced back from their disappointing performance against Harrow St Mary's, with a seven-wicket win over Belmont & Edgware in Division Three of the Middlesex Sunday League.
Going into the game with a 100 per cent record this season, BECC skipper Ashley Connick won the toss and chose to bat at the Met Police Ground in Bushey. Openers Alex Goodman and Daniel Abrahams gave them a great start, putting away the bad balls, particularly frequent from Mark Landau, and keeping the score ticking over.
They took the score to 103 before Goodman's excellent innings of 53 was ended by a spectacular catch by Avi Nejad at deep square leg off Michael Klinger. Next ball, opening partner Abrahams cracked the ball straight to Gav Lebens at point, who clung on to a good catch.
With runs hard to come by against Grant Traub's left-arm spin, the Belmont batsmen felt they had to attack Gav Lebens' slow medium pace. This proved to be their undoing as the good lines bowled by Lebens, and some sharp fielding, particularly from Russ Corin behind the stumps, saw the MAL skipper pick up five excellent wickets for 34 runs.
With no partnerships of note established it needed some late intervention from Rafi Addlestone, who ran brilliantly but with little support towards the end of the innings, with Warren Averbuch keeping him company to drag the score over the 190 mark, which always looked somewhat light on a good pitch and quick outfield. Klinger and Yoav Lebens also bowled very well for 2-36 and 1-37 from their eight over spells
MAL's reply began steadily with Mark Aziz and Landau watchful and rotating nicely before Aziz was LBW to Jon Evans for 8 with the score on 35 in the 10th over. This brought Yoav Lebens in to join Landau and the pair put on 66 in 11 overs, with some excellent shots before Landau was caught at point off Goodman for 40.
Lebens was soon through to his half century before a mix-up with Corin saw him run out for 51. Neil Myeroff was meanwhile bowling a wily spell of eight overs for just 16 runs. 131-3 in the 29th over could have seen MAL have some difficulties, but Corin and Pinty Baddiel played sensibly, with Corin being particularly severe on anything loose, cashing in on some poor bowling from Connick.
They eased MAL home from the first ball of the 39th over, Corin finishing 46 not out. Goodman, Addlestone and Phil Peters were the stars in the field for BECC but it proved in vain as MAL won by 7 wickets.
This was a solid performance from MAL, and a big improvement on the previous week, with great commitment in the field and a fantastic spirit throughout.
Middlesex Sunday League Division Three
BECC 1st XI 193-8 (40 overs) Goodman 53, Abrahams 44, G Lebens 5-34, Klinger 2-36, Y Lebens 1-37
MAL 194-3 (38.1 overs) Y Lebens 51, Corin 46*, Landau 40, Evans 1-25, Goodman 1-49