Middlesex Sunday Cricket League Division 1
LMV 213-4 (40 overs) Bott 126*, Brand 36, Landau 2-47
MAL 215-6 (39.2 overs) Salter 60, Y Lebens 47*, Traub 40, B Lederman 2-28, N Lederman 2-71
MAL won by 4 wickets
Newly-promoted MAL got their season off to a brilliant start with a thrilling four-wicket victory over rivals London Maccabi Vale in their debut match in Division One of the Middlesex Sunday Cricket League.
A morning pitch inspection found Rowley Lane to be damp, churned up by footballers, but playable. A last-minute panic by the home side as they realised they didn't have any stumps, bails or boundary markers was alleviated as MAL offered the use of theirs. All this added to a somewhat delayed toss and start, MAL skipper Gav Lebens winning the toss and inserting LMV.
Opening bowlers Yoav Lebens and Ian Salter kept things tight initially as Haffner and Bott started circumspectly. Bott soon started to go through the gears, and was timing the ball beautifully on a difficult pitch.
After 10 overs Michael Klinger and Grant Traub were introduced to the attack and both bowlers opened with maidens, before Klinger struck in his second, Haffner nicking behind to Russ Corin on the back foot, with the score on 60. The dismissal seemed to spur Bott on as he crashed two sixes from Traub's next over.
Ben Lederman was suckered into a slog sweep off Traub and was caught on the deep square leg boundary by Dan Sher for 0.
Adam Brand joined Bott and LMV's two outstanding batsmen began to motor, adding 79 in just 12 overs with some strong strokeplay, before Brand was well held low down by Yoav Lebens at point off the bowling of Mark Landau for 36. Galloway was next to go, bowled through the gate by Landau for 0.
Bott completed a glorious hundred, LMV weren't able to push on in the last seven overs of their innings, scoring only 22 runs during that period to finish on 213-4.
MAL also began quietly with the bat, Salter and Corin adding 18 before Corin drove Ben Lederman's bowling to mid off where Grant Reingold clung onto the catch. Landau joined Salter and the pair added 61, with Salter particularly fluent, until Landau attempted to push the scoring rate on against Reingold's leg spin and was well held on the boundary by Sim Cohen for 19 in the 20th over with the score on 79.
Salter went through to a well made 60 before he was bowled by Neil Lederman. The same bowler accounted for Dan Sher, the batsman a little unlucky to be bowled off his boot for 4.
Jamie Gance joined Yoav Lebens and struck the ball well in his 16 as the pair added a valuable 28, taking the MAL score to 149 before Gance was plumb LBW to Simeon Cohen for 16. His dismissal brought Grant Traub in to join Yoav Lebens, and with 65 required in a shade under nine overs, LMV would have been feeling confident.
Traub had other ideas, striking the ball magnificently as he crashed his way to 40 in 30 balls, with three sixes and two fours. 18 runs off the 37th over, and 11 runs off the 38th brought the equation down to 14 needed off 12 balls. Ben Lederman bowled the 39th and bowled a very good over, conceding only five runs and being rewarded with the wicket of Traub from his final ball. LMV skipper Neil Lederman took the ball for the final over, with nine still required for MAL to win.
Yoav Lebens promptly flicked the first ball down to long leg for 6, and the next ball slipped through wide of off stump for 4 byes, giving MAL victory by 4 wickets with 4 balls to spare.