MAL too strong for LM Vale 2nd


MAL moved into the top two of the Middlesex Sunday Cricket League second division with a comprehensive six-wicket win over local rivals London Maccabi Vale on Sunday.

Skipper Gav Lebens won the toss and invited the visitors to make first use of the surface at Croxdale Road. After two wides, Yoav Lebens struck with his first legitimate delivery, Nigel Rothband cutting straight to Gav Lebens, who held an excellent catch above his head.

Oscar Brodkin also struck in his first over, Jonathan Cantor only able to fend a rising delivery to second slip where Gav Lebens held his second catch.

Jeff Permutt and Jon Lederman rebuilt steadily amid some impressive bowling and fielding. Permutt looked to take toll of anything short, and picked up a six with a top edge off Brodkin. His was the next wicket to fall with the score on 46 in the 15th over, as he nicked behind off the outstanding Josh Burke to Mark Landau for a gritty 31.

Dan Caplan joined Lederman and they put together a partnership of 37 with Caplan looking to be aggressive at any opportunity. Lederman's 23 over vigil was ended on 22 by a terrific inswinger from Burke that hit his off stump.

Caplan quickly followed, bowled for 20 by Michael Klinger, and Simeon Cohen was beaten by one from Burke that scuttled along the ground, and bowled him for 0.

As the rain got somewhat heavier the players were forced to take an early tea. On the resumption the bowlers and fielders began to struggle with a wet ball, and Jon Daniels and Jon Freedman batted intelligently in putting together a partnership of 43, though with no small element of fortune.

Freedman made 15 before Brodkin had him caught at point by Gav Lebens. Adam Morris and Daniels ensured that LMV would bat out their overs, though their score of 167-7 looked to be below par.

With constant drizzle, conditions were not ideal for batsmen or bowlers. MAL's reply started brightly, but Jamie Breslaw played round a straight one from Jon Freedman and was bowled for 2.

Pinty Baddiel joined Mark Landau and they took the score to 49 in the 12th over before an excellent arm-ball from Permutt trapped Landau leg before for 26 from 31 balls.

Yoav Lebens came to the crease and was quickly into his stride, as he and Baddiel constructed a partnership of 89 in 12 overs until Baddiel guided Cohen's left-arm spin into Nigel Rothband's hands at gully, having made 39 from 55 balls with five boundaries.

Yoav Lebens, who had by this point moved to an excellent 50, was then dismissed for 65 (43 balls, 12x4) with just five required for victory. Matt Plax quickly knocked off the required runs, and MAL had won with more than 13 overs to spare.

A clinical performance from MAL, and with two further league games over the next fortnight, they stand in good shape to make a push for promotion.

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