MAL well beaten

Middlesex Sunday Cricket League Division 3

MAL 215 (39.1 overs) Y Lebens 92, M Aziz 31, Niam 5-28

Harrow St Mary's 216/5 (35 overs) Aitken 63, Soosay 56, Kandia 33*, Klinger 3-51, Wise 1-25, Landau 1-59

MAL produced a woeful performance to collapse to a five-wicket defeat against Harrow St Mary's, dropping eight straightforward catches in the process.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat, MAL were quickly one down as Mark Landau played around a straight one to be LBW for 1. Yoav Lebens and debutant Mark Aziz rebuilt very well, running well between the wickets and finding the boundaries in an enterprising stand of 83, before Aziz was run out for 31.

Tony Wise and Pinty Baddiel offered good support to Lebens over the next 14 overs as between them they took the score to 177-3 in the 31st over to set a great platform, Wise (17) and Baddiel (12) in partnerships of 49 and 42 respectively with Lebens.

From 177-3 MAL produced a collapse of Bangladesh, or 1990s England proportions, losing the last seven wickets for 38. Yoav eventually fell for a fantastic 92, from 100 balls, with 13 4s and two 6s.

215 was at least 30-40 short of what should have been scored, but still a defendable total.

After tea, Yoav Lebens and Landau opened the bowling. Neither were at their best, with Landau particularly struggling to find a good length. However three catches dropped in the first four overs meant that the innings was off to a negative start, before Wise held one at the end of the fourth to give Landau a wicket.

Aitken and Soosay then took the game away from MAL, striking the ball hard and going over the top on a regular basis. Both should have been out early in their innings.

Eventually Soosay drilled one from Michael Klinger to midwicket where Landau held the catch, but his 56 off 35 balls had done serious damage. MAL briefly looked like getting back into it as Klinger picked up two more wickets, Tighe held at square leg by Yoav Lebens, and Niam sharply stumped by Aziz.

At the other end Wise was bowling very tightly, and he removed Aitken for 63 with the score on 169, Landau holding an excellent running catch in the deep.

However Wright and Kandia batted very well to take Harrow St Mary's over the line, with five overs to spare.

MAL MAL vice-captain Mark Landau said: “Having won the first two league games of the season, this was an extremely disappointing performance, certainly one of the worst efforts in the field that I have ever seen.

"There needs to be a collective lifting of levels ahead of next week's very important game with Belmont & Edgware - if we can win that we will be back in the promotion places and in good shape.”

Last updated: 2:01pm, June 7 2010