Lebens century in vain for MAL

MAL opened their 2011 season with defeat against Old Haberdashers in a high-scoring contest on a blisteringly hot day at Camdenians.

Old Habs won the toss and batted first, starting brightly, Joe Williams launching into two short balls from Yoav Lebens in the thirrd over and depositing them for sixes.

All the early runs came when the bowlers dropped short, and they took the score to 43 in the 8th over before Oscar Brodkin's persistent line and length trapped Joe Williams LBW.

Three overs later Lebens induced an outside edge from Anish Patel, and the catch was well taken by brother Gav in the gulley. Dasgupta's wicket followed in the next over for 0, as he was bowled by the impressive Brodkin, who finished with 2-21 from his eight overs.

Abbas was playing fluently by this point, hitting the ball hard. He and Manzoor took the score to 129-3 at drinks, and drinks did the trick as Mark Landau yorked Khurram Manzoor for 22 straight afterwards.

From then on there was little to cheer for MAL in the field. Catches went down at regular intervals and stumpings were missed. Abbas unfurled a wide range of strokes. There was a wicket for Sam Hillel in his first over for the club, and he took a second later on, a good effort for a 15-year-old making his debut.

It took the start of a second spell for Landau to remove Abbas, cuaght behind by Sacofsky for a brilliant 190 (22 x 4, 13 x 6). Gelber followed LBW in the same over for 1, and Andy Hillel picked up the final wicket in the 40th over, bowling Dias for 12.

A quick tea (sandwiches knocked up by Mark for the Old Habs boys, and Pesadich cakes for the MAL boys) was followed by MAL heading out to begin their reply. Some good quality opening bowling meant a measured start, with Yitzi Hill and Mark Landau taking the score to 34 in the 10th over before Landau was trapped LBW for 17 by Sami Ali.

Yoav Lebens joined Hill and was fluent from the outset, as they added 38 for the second wicket. Hill was bowled by Jameel for 22, bringing in Baddiel. Lebens and Baddiel added 125 in just over 15 overs, with Lebens becoming increasingly brutal as his innings went on. He reached his hundred with a succession of crisply struck boundaries, before perishing at long on for an outstanding 105 off 70 balls (16 x 4, 4 x 6).

With his dismissal went any vague hopes of chasing down the target, but credit must also go to Baddiel, who made 41 off 38 balls before being dimissed LBW by Danish Jalali.

There was time at the end of the innings for Gav Lebens to thump 16 off 7 balls, as MAL reached 257-7 from their 40 overs.

A good warm up for the season, with the best part of 600 runs scored in 80 overs, and plenty to take forward into next week's friendlies and the competitive season ahead.

Old Haberdashers 332 (39.2 overs) Abbas 190, Landau 3-42, Brodkin 2-21, S Hillel 2-68

MAL 257-7 (40 overs) Y Lebens 105, Baddiel 41, Abbas 2-33

    Last updated: 10:22am, May 4 2011