London Maccabi Vale 3rd XI made its first appearance of the season but a team combining youth and experience were edged out by one wicket by West Harrow.
No matter what level you play your cricket, as long as the opposition are well-matched you can have a great contest; which is what we had on Sunday. A match that went the full 80 overs and finished just after half past eight was played in an excellent spirit on both sides and hopefully gave LMV's youngsters valuable experience of how to deal with pressure.
Skipper for the day David Marks won the toss and chose to bat, and LMV got off to a flyer, with Nigel Rothband severe on anything wayward - and there was plenty - until becoming restricted by a groin injury. But he was ably supported by the returning Jonny Fishel and then by Alex Ziff, who smashed the ball all around the park and helped get the side to 185-1 by the 27th over.
Whereupon, as is traditional at the club, things rather went to pieces as despite useful runs from Saul Freedman and Henry Ziff, LMV subsided to 249 all out; one short of the skipper’s target and that was to prove rather poetic as the match progressed. The final six overs yielded just 26 runs for the loss of five wickets.
West Harrow got off to a poor start as their opener went second ball to a wicket made in Chorleywood, as Nigel Rothband shrugged off his groin strain to throw himself to his right to take a low slip catch off son Harry. At 10 overs they had reached 46, and at 15 65, but by the time LMV got to 20 overs their sixth wicket partnership was getting into full flow with the score on 109, despite Michael Ziff bowling tidily in mid-innings.
Nonetheless, Ali Livingstone, who had been overshadowed early on by young Harry who took three wickets in his first spell, came back to take a crucial wicket so that at 30 overs LMV looked to have things under control at 185-6. Due to a groin injury of his own, the skipper deemed himself unfit to bowl and a lack of experience in the bowling late on proved crucial as their lower order kept West Harrow in the match.
Crucial boundaries were conceded at inopportune moments, a couple of catches went down and over 37 went for 16. In the end the pressure perhaps proved too much for teenage bowlers Josh Lew and Harry as 12 were needed off the last over, and then with one to tie and two to win the last ball of the match was clipped through square leg for 4 to end a pulsating game.
LMV 2nd “A” XI 249 all out in 40 overs (Nigel Rothband 73, Alex Ziff 63) lost to West Harrow 3rds 252-9 (Ali Livingstone 3-32, Harry Rothband 3-44) by 1 wicket.