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MAL maintain winning habit

    MAL celebrated winning the Middlesex Sunday Cricket League Division 3 title with a friendly victory against Grimsdyke CC at Old Camdenians.

    Grimsdyke won the toss and chose to bat on a typically firm looking wicket. The openers survived well against some good swing bowling from Yoav Lebens and Mark Landau, managing to 'guide' a few edges to the third man area along the way. It took a bit of good fortune to break the partnership, Oram striking firmly down the ground only to see Lebens deflect the ball onto the stumps in his follow through to run out Sulieman for 23.

    Singh came in and was highly aggressive, getting after Grant Traub in particular before Michael Klinger yorked him for a brisk 29. Traub shortly afterwards trapped Harish plumb in front for 4 to leave Grimsdyke 102-3 at drinks, poised to make a good score.

    Good restrictive bowling from Klinger and Avi Gelley kept the pressure on, and Klinger eventually winkled out the obdurate Oram, bowling him for 44. The last five wickets fell for 20 as Gav Lebens and Grant Traub shared them, Traub finishing with 4-24 from 6.4 overs, and Lebens with 2-11 from four overs. The final total of 173 always looked way short on the flat pitch and quick-scoring Camdenians outfield.

    The total was made to look all the more meagre as Mark Landau helped himself to three boundaries in the opening over of the MAL reply, before the opening bowlers settled down a little. Landau made a brisk 34 from 32 balls before being trapped LBW by Pollard.

    Jamie Breslaw was also on the attack, reaching 15 before falling in similar fashion to Landau. Yoav Lebens came in at 65-2 after 14 overs, and his partnership with Josh Begner realised 101 runs in less than 10 overs. Lebens was at his imperious best, crashing 8 4s and 3 big 6s.

    Begner gave more than able support, growing in his recent reinvention as an opening batsmen, and stroking some very well-timed boundaries of his own. Lebens was eventually dismissed for 64 from only 32 balls, prompting a mini crisis of sorts as Begner followed, run out for 29, before Katten was LBW for 2. There would be no further alarm though as the four runs needed were gathered courtesy of a feathered outside edge from Avi Gelley.

    Another comprehensive win for MAL, their 14th of an excellent season. With three games to go, weather permitting, there are hopes of further success.

    Grimsdyke 173 (39.4 overs) Grant Traub 4-24, G Lebens 2-11, Klinger 2-22
    MAL 177-5 (27.3 overs) Yoav Lebens 64, Mark Landau 34, Josh Begner 29

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