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Winning feeling returns for Maccabi AJAX

Posted: 17-Feb-2016 by Cricket Senior

Winning feeling returns for Maccabi AJAX

The Maccabi AJAX Cricket Club enjoyed a richly successful weekend of play with all three teams registering convincing victories, however barring a miracle of epic proportion it seems it is curtains for the First XI after both South Yarra and Monash University pulled off unlikely wins, to effectively relegate the Firsts from March finals action.

Meanwhile, the Second and Circle of Latitude Third XI have secured their finals spot, with a top two finish and home final looking likely for both teams, with a further two rounds of the regular season to play.

MCA Ladders

The First XI resumed their two-day match against rivals Emmanuel South Oakleigh (ESO) in the driver’s seat, having dismissed the visitors for 116 the weekend before and well on their way at 0/30 in reply.

Openers Benji Jones and Josh Masel started positively, ticking the score over at a comfortable rate, bringing up the third opening partnership of 50 runs or more this season in the First XI.

Soon after, Masel chased a wide delivery and was caught for an eye-catching 36.

His dismissal triggered an all too familiar batting collapse which saw ESO take 4/11 and claw their way back into the contest at 4/64.

New batsmen to the crease Eitan Kooperman put on 21 runs with Jones who continued his stoic hand.

The game seemed to be slipping away from the visitors with the score on 4/85, however an inspired bowling change removed Kooperman for 10, triggering another cluster of wickets right before tea.

At the break, the game sat precariously with the score on 7/101, the Jackas requiring a further 16 runs for victory with Jones the key.

ESO finally claimed the wicket of Jones for a vitally important 37 and sniffed an opportunity to roll the Jackas’ tail, however a quick-fire 13* from Nochum Paltiel sealed the deal for the Firsts.

With 21 overs still to be played in the day, Jackas’ skipper Josh Masel declared his team’s innings on 8/121 in pursuit of an unlikely outright victory and season-saving bonus points.

ESO lost two early wickets, but steadied thereafter to eventually end the game on 2/95, losing the match on first innings.

Meanwhile, the Second XI snapped their three-game losing streak and tightened their hold on top spot with a 37-run victory over ESO at Scammell Reserve on Sunday.

Second’s skipper Eytan Epstein ignored the bowler friendly conditions and elected to bat first, as he demanded his side reverse their batting woes and bat the allotted 45 overs.

The home side’s bowlers were licking their lips early as the pitch proved extremely difficult and at times dangerous to play for the batsmen.

The Jackas’ string of poor batting performances dragged on for a fourth consecutive week with the score 6/37, before Josh Jones and Moishe Chaiton set out to re-build the innings.

With conditions improving, the pair were going along nicely until a calamitous mix-up saw Jones run out for 8.

Chaiton and JJ Zimmet picked up the scoring pace, putting on 20 before the latter was caught for 15.

Chaiton took the task upon himself and began opening the shoulders, hitting three boundaries including a massive six over mid-wicket on his way to a match-saving 62*.

Number 11 Adam Kahlberg (15*) offered great support as the Jackas heeded their captain’s call finishing on 9/146 after their 45 overs.

The Second’s bowling attack certainly didn’t lack pace or vigour, ripping through the home side’s top order taking 3/9.

A 37-run lower-order partnership was the only scare the Jackas endured, but an even bowling unit eventually finished the job, dismissing ESO for 109.

Kahlberg was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3/13 from his nine overs, while Zimmet (2/17) and Jones (2/25) were the other multiple wicket-takers.

The Third XI capped off a winning-weekend for the club with a crushing seven-wicket victory over Youlden Parkville at Ryder Oval.

The home side was dismissed for just 38, with Captain Eli Barr the chief-destroyer claiming 4/3 off six eventful overs.

Peretz Schapiro (2/1) and Alon Katz (2/8) proved a handful too.

In reply, the Thirds had the game sewn up at 3/34 and then kicked on to 3/72 declared, with Ben Machlin (33*) and Sam Brygel (14*) enjoying their time out in the middle.

Jackas’ skipper Barr sent Youlden Parkville back into bat, in search of an outright victory, however the home side held firm to reach 3/99 at game’s end.

Weekend Scorecards

The First XI play their final game of the season against Burnley, a two-day match at Loughnan Oval on February 21 & 28 with play to commence at 1pm.

Aaron Fetter

MyCricket