MAL show great promise

MAL warmed up for the Maccabi League season with an encouraging draw against a determined Highgate side.

Skipper Gavriel Lebens won the toss and elected to bat on a hard-looking wicket, with a nice flat outfield.

Openers Mark Landau and Russ Corin, on a rare return from Israel, took the score to 37 before Corin tried one big shot too many and was caught at mid-on for a hard-hitting 27.

MAL threatened to throw away a good position as first Tali Rowe, stumped for 15, and Yoav Lebens, for a duck, came and went against the useful spin of Aqbar. This brought in Steve Braude to join Landau, and the pair set about building a platform.

Landau was eventually bowled for 60 from 70 balls attempting to push the scoring rate on. Elliott Unsdorfer joined Braude and the big-hitting pair threatened to take the game away from Highgate, both smashing boundaries to all parts. Braude made 44 from 43 balls, and Unsdorfer 39 from just 24 balls.

The innings was eventually declared on 226-7 from 36 overs, leaving Highgate around 40 overs to chase.

After tea, Yoav Lebens and Melvyn Smulovitch opened the bowling. Both put in excellent eight over spells, with Lebens taking 2-19 from his first spell, and Smulovitch 2-33, including an excellent slip catch from Gav Lebens.

Once Divia had been dismissed for a well made 42 by Lebens, Highgate always looked like they would settle for a draw, so it was a matter of survival for their batsmen.

Simon Levy and Grant Traub replaced the opening bowlers and both picked up wickets, with sharp catches being taken by Liad Shababo and Yoav. With overs running out and still four wickets required, Lebens turned to Mark Landau, and the left-armer picked up two wickets in his first over. A run out in his next over left Highgate with seven overs to survive with just their last pair, and they managed this with little alarm, thanks mainly to a composed 25 not out from 18-year-old left hander Teshan Aqbar.

A draw then, but one with plenty of positives for MAL to take into their competitive matches.

    Last updated: 3:09pm, May 5 2009