A heroic innings from Jerome Roith helped London Maccabi Vale 1st maintain their grip at the top of the Middlesex Sunday League Division Two as they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Bharat Olympians at Rowley Lane.
A match that seemed lost after LMV’s first three overs of bowling and first three overs of batting was won thanks to a sensational performance from the lower order notably by Roith and Paul Buxton who together with Dan Cohen and Saul Weitzman performed heroics to turn a score of 34-5 into a matchwinning 185 for 8.
Bowling first, the day started poorly with LMV sending down 12 wides in the first three overs, and this trend continued throughout the innings. The opposition were also aided by 24 wides during their innings.
Saul Weitzman was the star performer with the ball. He was unlucky to only finish with 2 wickets as he swung the new ball to good effect and went for 25 in his eight overs.. The other wickets were shared around with Dan Cohen and Joseph Greenwall Cohen, in his first Vale appearance of the season, picking up two wickets apiece.
A marvellous tea and some enjoyment watching NZ draw with Italy soon turned to horror as the opening bowlers of Bharat Olympians proved to be more than a match for our top order.
Richard Black, captain Adam Brand, out first ball, Daniel Becker, Danny Caro, and Greenwall Cohen all headed back to the pavilion without troubling the scorebook to any great effect.
Cue the level headed experience of Martin Shultz who together with Buxton added 34 to at least give the score a bit of respectability. When Schultz departed for a well made 21, LMV feared the worst. However, Buxton and Roith had other ideas. They ran superbly between the wickets and both hit tremendous sixes, adding 40 in 10 overs.
When Buxton departed< LMV still assumed the game was lost with the team still requiring 77 off nine overs with only three wickets left to come in. Weitzman and Roith had other ideas, adding 40 in five overs. It was game on.
The opposition brought back their star bowler who had figures of six overs 3-19. There was to be another twist as Weitzman was run out going for a cheeky third, but Roith found an ally in Cohen, who chanced his luck and was dropped three times.
They hit two’s and in the penultimate over, Roith cracked two boundaries. A fantastic knock which left LMV needing only five off the last over. This allowed LMV to complete the task with two balls to spare.
LMV captain Adam Brand said: “I still cant get over the excitement and the unbelievable tension I half expected Jerome to celebrate a la Mark Ramprakash, with shirt off running round the ground. He has too much of a cool head for that.”