MAL’s promotion hopes were given a boost as they claimed a crushing eight-wicket victory over promotion rivals Kensington & Chelsea in the Middlesex Sunday Cricket League Division Three.
Skipper Gav Lebens won the toss and chose to field on what is always a very quick scoring ground at Old Camdenians.
Yoav Lebens and Tony Wise opened the bowling and were soon into their stride with both moving the ball prodigiously. Though the ball was passing the bat with regularity, the first wicket fell in the second over to a run out - Lebens’ direct hit from backward point being far too quick for the opposition skipper, who was run out for a duck.
All the batsmen struggled with the movement that the bowlers were generating. The second wicket fell in the fourth over with the score on six, Wise bowling Dheeran for 0.
In the next over, 6-2 became 8-3, Lebens trapping Zeeshan in front for 1. Not only were wickets falling but there was little or anything loose for the batsmen to score off.
The fourth wicket fell in the 10th over, Wise bowling Fazal for 1. Opener Richard was making a fist of it whilst wickets were tumbling at the other end, even managing to strike the first boundary of the innings off Wise in the 12th over, though even this provided a chance to Jon Begner at mid on).
Lebens picked up his second wicket in the 13th over, clean bowling Zain for 3, and in his final over he also breached Tony’s defences to bowl him for 0.
Wise also picked up a wicket in his final over, removing opener Richard for 16, to leave Kensington & Chelsea on 32-7 at the end of the opening bowlers eight over spells – Lebens finishing with 3-15, and Wise with 3-16.
Begner and Mark Landau replaced the openers, and both picked up a wicket quickly, as Kensington & Chelsea were bundled out for 44 after only 18.2 overs.
With such a quick innings it was decided not to have tea, but to go straight around. Openers Landau and Russ Corin took the score to 27 in the sixth over before Corin called for a very risky run and was unable to beat the throw from mid-off, being run out for 12.
He was followed by Landau who inside edged a ball from the impressive Zeeshan for 9.
There were to be no further alarms, though the off-spinner did induce an edge from Yoav Lebens first ball, which went to the boundary. Lebens finished the game in the ninth over with three consecutive boundaries.
The victory means that MAL are now two wins away from securing promotion, and can look to push on for the divisional title.