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LMV start new season with emphatic victory

London Maccabi Vale recorded a resounding victory away to Uxbridge Casuals in their first friendly of the season.

    Thanks to sensational hitting from Adam Brand and Ben Lederman, who both recorded centuries, Vale posted a total that was far beyond the home side's reach and cruised to a comfortable win.

    Vale have been promoted for the past four consecutive years and face a challenge ahead in Division Two of the Chess Valley League, but they look well-prepared for the campaign ahead if this performance is anything to go by.

    In glorious sunshine, Ben Kohler and debutant Rafi Saville opened the innings. A breakdown in communication saw Kohler run out in the fifth over, and Saville was adjudged to have edged the ball down the leg side not long after that, but those early setbacks only served to welcome Brand and Lederman to the crease.

    They proceeded to add 173 runs in just 21 overs.

    The pair batted responsibly initially, taking their time to judge the pace of the surface, and at the drinks internal Vale were well-set on 102-2.

    23 runs were taken off the first over after the break, and that set the tone for the carnage that followed.

    Brand was classy with his striking, carving the Uxbridge bowlers to the boundary with ease as he brought up his century - but he was made to look somewhat pedestrian by Lederman.

    In a ferocious display of clean-hitting, Lederman hit eight maximums in total, bringing up both his half-century and his century with sixes. He tore into Uxbridge's bowlers, flaying them to all corners as he took advantage of short boundaries, a fast outfield and some tired deliveries.  

    Lederman and Alex Haffner added a hugely entertaining 117 of the final eight overs of the innings before Lederman led the side off, unbeaten on 160. It was a terrific, faultless, eye-catching innings.

    With such a huge total on the board, the home side's batsmen were always likely to come out swinging, but Vale's opening bowlers quickly cast doubt on the run-chase.

    Steven Allweis has finished as the league's leading wicket-taker for the past two seasons - and he carried on from where he left off last year by grabbing the first wicket with just the fourth ball of the innings. 

    At the other end, Alex Fachler was making his Vale debut and he was quickly into his stride, taking two wickets in an impressive seven-over spell to get his LMV account up-and-running.

    Allweis added another wicket to his collection, before Brand struck twice courtesy of a brace of good catches from Kohler. 

    Lederman decided that his exploits with the bat did not quite constitute a full day's work, so he strapped on his bowling boots and snaffled two wickets to put Vale on the brink.

    With the veteran Terry Hyman rolling back the years with a spell of left-arm spin, all that remained was for David Kohler, the third of Vale's debutants, to grab the final wicket and seal the victory.

    All in all, a successful day in the sun for Vale and a thumping win to kickstart the season.

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