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MAL edged out by Edmonton

    MAL were beaten by two wickets in an entertaining friendly that featured centuries on both teams against Edmonton CC.

    Played on a blisteringly hot summer's day, two evenly-matched sides slugged it out, with the game coming down to the last over, with all three results possible.

    Edmonton won the toss and chose to bowl first, giving MAL first use of what looked a hard and true pitch. Josh Begner and Andy Hillel opened the batting.

    Hillel was fluent from the off, striking four crisp boundaries in his 17 before he was the first man out with the score on 27.

    Mark Landau joined Begner and was aggressive straight away, looking to hit hard and straight. Begner's was the second wicket to fall, for 14 with the score on 38.

    Avishai Kestenbaum played strongly off the back foot as he and Landau added 49 in eight overs.

    Landau rushed through to his half century, off just 35 balls, and though he lost Kestenbaum, bowled by Jack for 22, he kept attacking.

    David Garbacz, Grant Pakter, and Noam Mirvis all came and went fairly cheaply, but Sam Hillel offered good support down the order, striking three fours and a six in his 22.

    Landau went through to his thirdrd century of the season, eventually being caught with one ball of the innings left having made 108 from 74 balls (16x4, 3x6).

    Edmonton's reply began well for MAL, with the first wicket falling to a run out - Michael Klinger with the direct-hit from mid-on in the third over, to leave Edmonton 12-1.

    Although Bennett was brutal on anything slightly short or wide, particularly strong off the back foot, MAL manged to retain some control, and Klinger took the second wicket, bowling Hawkins for 8 in the 12th.

    Bilson added 59 with Bennett before he was athletically held by Grant Pakter running back from cover off the bowling of Andy Hillel.

    Hinnigan also offered good support to the aggressive Bennett until he was smartly held low down running forwards from deep midwicket by Landau for 19.

    At 167-4 after 30 overs, the game could have gone either way, and it swung towards MAL when three wickets fell in the next three overs as firstly Leslie Allweis had Edwards caught by wicketkeeper Kestenbaum for 1, then the big wicket of Bennett, calmly pouched by Sam Hillel off his dad's bowling for and excellent 107, then the younger Hawkins was caught inches off the ground by Jon Begner at mid-wicket.

    Edmonton required a further 33 from seven overs with three wickets in hand. Some calm batting and good running added 20 until Sam Hillel induced a top edge from Beaumont, Landau taking the catch.

    Aylott and Barker stayed calm though and saw Edmonton home with three balls to spare.

    This was a fantastic game of cricket, enjoyed by all and played in a terrific spirit throughout.

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