MAL 2nd went down to a 49-run defeat against Whittington CC.
In his first job as captain, Adam Katten won the toss and without hesitation put the opposition into bat so that the 2nds would have a chance to get into the game without the pressure of having to set a target in their first game of the season.
Some slack bowling upfront meant that Whittington got off to a flyer with 50 runs being on the board after five overs. A score of over 300 seemed on the cards but Jon Begner got the break through with an lbwdecision and then Sam Hillel showed great promise in taking two wickets in two balls to bring MAL right back into the game.
Turner and Malam then steadied the ship for Whittington and despite some good control being shown from Marks, they reached drinks after 18 overs in a strong position with 120 on the board and only three wickets down.
Debutant Schwab then showed great awareness in running out Malam and followed this with a great catch off Avi Gelley on the boundary as MAL showed great spirit in the field.
An excellent spell from Marks was rewarded with a wicket and Stephen Allweis also made a critical contribution with a wicket in his first over. Katten brought back Hilel to try and finish off the tail and he took another wicket as MAL restricted Whittington to 151-8 as their last man came to the wicket.
However, a last wicket stand of 62 proved crucial in enabling a score of 213 to be reached which proved to be very competitive.
Djanogly and Engelsman both took catches as they shared the keeping well and the fielding was enthusiastic and generally good although four dropped catches was disappointing. Gidon Katten fielded particularly well and saved a lot of runs at long leg.
MAL's reply started poorly with two early wickets falling before Katten gave Begner good support as they tried to steady the ship. Begner showed great bravery after being hit by the hostile opening bowler and produced some classy cover drives in a good innings of 31 before being trapped lbw by the aggressive Taylor.
Wickets then fell steadily before a great 10th wicket stand by Marks and Hillel of 70 enabled the 2nds to reach a respectable total of 164. Hillel smashed three sixes and showed great promise for the future whilst Marks crashed a series of boundaries including one towering six as he recalled past glories in reaching 43 not out.
Begner, Hillel and Marks all showed enough to be pushing for 1st XI places and the competitive nature of the performance by the 2nds for most of the game was an encouraging start to the season.
Whittington CC 213-9 (32.2 overs) Turner 49, Ahmed 30, Hillel 3-33, Gelley 2-38
MAL 2nd XI 164 (33 overs) Marks 43 not out, Hillel 35, Begner 31, Turner 2-11, Raz 2-12, Taylor 2-29