MAL's batsmen continued to misfire as they were soundly beaten by SKLP on Sunday in Division One of the Middlesex Sunday Cricket League.
SKLP won the toss and chose to bat on a slow pitch with a very sluggish outfield. They started aggressively, taking 10 off the first over, but Yoav Lebens and Kev Venter slowed the scoring rate, until Venter made the breakthrough, bowling Hiran for 5.
Kalpesh hit the ball hard and launched a big straight six, before the introduction of Grant Traub saw Mayur bowled in Traub's first over. The SKLP batsmen found the left-armers wiles very tough to deal with and he picked up two more wickets, Kalpesh trapped LBW for 31, and Rashil going in the same fashion for 3.
Jonny Fishel bowled quickly and accurately, taking the wicket of Nayur for 1, Brian Kobrin parrying the ball up at slip for Yoav Lebens to scoop up a good rebound catch. Fishel was unlucky not to pick up a couple more wickets as catches failed to go to hand in the slip cordon.
Michael Klinger claimed two wickets, one to a good running catch at point be Venter, the other a sharp catch up to the stumps by wicketkeeper Mark Landau.
Jon Begner also grabbed a couple of late wickets, with Traub and Gav Lebens holding the catches.
All in all, this was a much improved performance in the field from MAL with plenty of positives to be taken.
Batting proved to be a much more difficult proposition, with the SKLP bowlers disciplined throughout. Dan Sher was the first to go, misjudging the length, and being trapped LBW. Kev Venter was caught and bowled from off spinner Nayur's first delivery and Landau became the spinner's second victim, a poor shot resulting in a top edge to the keeper.
Yoav Lebens battled hard, but was offered little support. Only he with 24, Grant Traub with 18, and Landau with 12 making it into double figures. The highlight of the innings was a quite staggering catch by SKLP's Ashil, diving full length at mid off to catch Yoav out.
With the Bank Holiday tour to Cheltenham next up, there will be a chance for MAL's faltering batsmen to find some form before the return game against SKLP on the June 10.
Middlesex Sunday Cricket League Division One
SKLP 137 (39.2 overs) Kalpesh 37, Traub 3-15
MAL 83 (33.3 overs)
MAL lost by 54 runs