MAL’s impressive debut season in the Middlesex Sunday Cricket League continued with a 67 run away win over Haryom CC at JFS on Sunday.
Skipper Gav Lebens won the toss and elected to bat on what looked to be a poor pitch. Quite how poor it was came to light early as Mark Landau and Russ Corin struggled to get the ball away.
Some loose bowling and a number of wides saw the scoreboard tick over, and a couple of imperious Corin boundaries meant that after 10 overs MAL were 39-0. Corin soon perished going for one ambitious shot too many, bowled for 18.
Yoav Lebens struggled equally and was LBW for two. The third wicket fell with the score at 53, Landau also falling LBW for a scratchy 11 off 32 balls.
Brian Kobrin made the struggles of the other batsmen look somewhat silly as he was quickly into his stride in his first game of 2010. He struck the ball cleanly and with great timing, being particularly fluent in an arc between backward point and mid-off.
Once Pinty Baddiel was caught and bowled for 0, Kobrin was joined by Matt Plax, and the pair’s partnership was invaluable in getting MAL to a good total. They put on just under 50 before Kobrin was dismissed for 56, having gone to his half century in just 43 balls, astounding in the context of the game.
Wickets continued to fall but Plax remained steady, and having been joined by last man Avi Gelley, he took particular toll on the final over of the innings, striking five fours in that over, and taking 23 off it in total, to take his own score to a brilliant unbeaten 47.
On a pitch where 150 had looked to be a more than competitive score, MAL’s total of 192 represented a fantastic effort.
Haryom’s reply began in frenzied fashion, as 10 were taken off the first over. Tony Wise calmed things down, yorking Sanjay with his first ball. His consistency of line and length was to cause all the batsmen problems, and he took two further wickets in his third over, including a really sharp catch in the gulley by Gav Lebens, to leave Haryom struggling at 23-3.
Yoav Lebens was struggling a little for line and length and was replaced by Jon Begner, who quickly found some good areas. His third over saw him bowl a couple of fabulous deliveries, one whizzing past the outside edge followed up by a terrific outswinger which uprooted the stubborn Jenti’s off stump.
With a partnership developing, captain Gav Lebens decided pace off the ball was a good option and brought himself on in the 20th over. He quickly picked up the big-hitting Penny for 27, caught well at mid-wicket by Adam Katten. In fact Lebens was to pick up the last six Haryom wickets to fall, as a succession of batsmen found the lack of pace, and accurate line and length difficult to deal with. Corin stumped Timmy smartly, and Vishal was plumb LBW for 11 having struck Begner for a huge straight six.
The 8th wicket fell with the score on 97, Pinty Baddiel snaffling a good running catch at cover. There was time for a brief revival as a couple of boundaries were struck off Lebens and Avi Gelley before the final two wickets fell in identical fashion, both held by Katten off Gav Lebens.
Given the poor nature of the pitch, this was a fantastic performance by MAL, and leaves them in prime position for promotion with half their league fixtures played.
MAL 192-9 (40 Overs) Kobrin 56, Plax 47*
Haryom 125 (29.5 Overs) Gav Lebens 6-24, Wise 3-19, Jon Begner 1-32