MAL complete league and cup double

September 19, 2011
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MAL comprehensively outplayed Belmont & Edgware CC to claim the Maccabi National Knockout Cup, and clinch a tremendous league and cup double.

BECC skipper Warren Averbuch won the toss and gave MAL first use of the firm-looking surface. After a tight first couple of overs from Gideon Restan and Warren Averbuch openers Mark Landau and Russ Corin began to find their stride, as the bowlers struggled to find a consistent line and length with several full tosses and short balls being punished to the boundary.

MAL reached 51-0 off 10 overs and gradually accelerated towards the drinks break as Averbuch looked to rotate his bowlers to find a combination that would give hiim some control.

Landau was the first to reach his half century, and was followed shortly thereafter by Corin. At drinks the score was 115-0, and the pair pushed their partnership on, with Corin in particular looking to be aggressive at any given opportunity. He eventually reached 74 from 76 balls (1x6, 8x4) before he was smartly caught and bowled low down by David Kaplan.

Grant Pakter could not survive his first delivery and was LBW for 0 to Caplin. Yoav Lebens safely saw out the hat-trick ball, but was dropped in the very next over by Warren Averbuch off the bowling of Davis.

Lebens and Landau took the score on to 196 before Landau went for one big shot too many and was well held low down by Jacobs at long on to give Kaplan his third wicket.

Lebens upped his scoring rate, striking the ball well, with one straight drive breaking the unlucky Gideon Restan's finger. He was to go on to 48 before being caught and bowled by Connick.

Josh Burke and Kev Venter carried on the good work before Venter and Charlie Sherrard both perished in the final over chasing quick runs.

MAL finished on 261-6, which given the slow and low nature of the pitch, looked a very big total and a huge challenge for BECC.

Quite how tough a challenge it was going to be became apparent very early on in the BECC innings, as Yoav Lebens found some swing, and bowled Davis in the very first over for 0.

Alex Goodman followed in Yoav's next over, as a good slower ball was inside edged on to his stumps.

Ashley Connick went in the fourth over to leave BECC struggling at 9-3, as he was bowled by a terrific inswinger from Oscar Brodkin for 1.

Things were to get worse for Belmont & Edgware, as MAL skipper Gav Lebens brought on Charlie Sherrard to replace Brodkin, with MAL attempting to get to the 10 overs that would constitute a 'game' before the looming rain arrived.

Sherrard had Abrahams caught and bowled as the rain began to fall, and before Averbuch could get to the wicket the covers were on and the players were off, with a thunderstorm delivering some heavy rain, with the score at 19-4 from 7.4 overs.

A delay of not far off an hour ensued, with the skies clearing, but some concern from the umpires over whether conditions were fit for play.

Eventually the players retook the field, with BECC's target recalculated to 150 from 23 overs. Averbuch and Geey threatened some resistance, putting on 31 in six overs, but Geey cut a short ball from Sherrard straight to Yoav Lebens at cover to be dismissed for 17.

Blasebalk cracked a boundary to long-on off MAL fast bowler Josh Burke, but was then bowled by Jon Begner's first ball, and a mix up saw Jacobs run out for 0, thanks to a decent bit of fielding from Grant Pakter.

Averbuch was then bowled neck and crop by Begner for 17. Burke got the wicket his pace had threatened, bowling Reid for 2, and with Restan unable to bat due to his finger injury, BECC were all out for 67 in 18.3 overs.

This was a terrific performance from MAL, and caps a season in which they have also win Division Two of the Middlesex Sunday Cricket League.

MAL captain Gabriel Lebens said: "I am immensely proud of the team for both the League and Cup victories. It has been a fantastic season and a real squad effort over the past few months.

"There is a great buzz about the club and everybody gets on well which makes matches really enjoyable and our team spirit often gives us the edge when games have been tight.

"One of the most pleasing aspects of the season has been being able to get a second team out regularly which is helping the club to progress.

"We have a good number of youngsters coming through, while our more established players continuing to improve.

"If we can keep the squad together for next season we hope to be able to have a good crack at Division One."

BECC skipper Warren Averbuch said: "MAL really deserved the victory based on their performance. We were well beaten by the better team on the day."

Man-of-the-match: Russ Corin - for his 74, which gave real momentum to MAL's innings

MAL 261-6 (40 Overs) Mark Landau 79, Russell Corin 74, Yoav Lebens 48, David Kaplan 3-42, Ashley Connick 3-48
BECC 67 (18.3 Overs) Jon Begner 2-5, Yoav Lebens 2-10, Charlie Sherrard 2-20
MAL won by 83 runs (BECC target reduced to 150 in 23 overs due to rain)

Last updated: 11:29am, September 22 2011