MAL moved a step closer to winning the Middlesex Sunday League Division Two crown after winning a nail-biter against title rivals SKLP.
All-rounder Yoav Lebens was the star of the show in an 11-run victory.
Vice-captain Mark Landau gave MAL a solid start as they moved to 42-1 after 11 overs.
Lebens came out in aggressive mood, striking six crisp boundaries in a 25-ball knock of 34 before he was bowled by a delivery that kept low.
Grant Pakter mixed careful defence with some crisply struck drives and cuts during a 69-run partnership with Kevin Venter. Pakter went through to his fourth half century of the season before Venter was caught for a well made 22. Pakter’s innings was eventually ended by a terrific catch behind. He scored 70 off 98 balls.
The evergreen Charlie Sherrard added some impetus towards the end of the innings with some inventive strokeplay that helped MALto close on 195-6.
Good bowling from Lebens, Oscar Brodkin, Grant Traub and Sherrard made runs hard to come by at the start of the SKLP reply.
After tea, Lebens and Oscar Brodkin opened the bowling. They bowled well butwithoutreward.Thegamechanged with the introduction of slow bowlers Sherrard and Grant Traub. Both were outstanding – accurate and probing throughout.
Sherrard and Traub teamed up for the first wicket with Josh Goodman showing a safe pair of hands to give Sherrard his first of two wickets.
A partnership of 83 kept SKLP in the game but Yoav Lebens returned to the attack to claim a vital wicket. Two more wickets from last season’s JC Young Player of the Year kept MAL in charge on a day when they took all their chances in the field.
With SKLP needing 17 runs off the MIDDLESEX SUNDAY LEAGUE DIVISION TWO MAL 195-6 (40 overs) Grant Pakter 70, Yoav Lebens 34 SKLP 184-9 (40 overs) Yoav Lebens 3-42 MAL won by 11 runs final over, Venter held his nerve, claiming a wicket with the last ball of the match to see MAL home.
Gavriel Lebens’ men can secure the league title by winning their two remaining games.
MAL 2nd were beaten by 22 runs in a well-contested friendly against Crouch End.
Captain Mark Klinger, Antony Cowan, Avi Gelley and Mark Lazar bowled well, restricting Crouch End to 160-7 off 35 overs.
Will Vignoles top-scored with 33 while Joel Newman blasted four boundaries in his 29. Lazar also added 29 runs with Cowan contributing 29 but in the end MAL fell short. GREATER MANCHESTER AMATEUR LEAGUE Manchester Maccabi 33 all-out Haughton Green 34-0 Manchester Maccabi lost by 10 wickets NJCL T20 FINAL Salford 88 South Manchester 89-8 South won by 2 wickets FRIENDLY Crouch End CC 160-7 (35 overs) MAL 2nd XI 138 Will Vignoles 33 MAL lost by 22 runs
Yoav Lebens contributed with bat and ball as MAL took another step towards the Middlesex Sunday League title