Melita beat leaders Marsa in top clash
Only one match was played from the Malta Cricket Association (MCA) Summer League last weekend as leaders Marsa were stunned by an efficient Melita Betfair side who produced a remarkable bowling and fielding performance at the oval.
Marsa batted first with Frank Spiteri and Simon Lavender at the crease.
Spiteri was caught by Derek Ali in the second over off the bowling of Andy Naudi.
He was out for nil but Lavender went on to retire after 30 balls and then returned at the end of the innings to wrap up with 25 runs (not out).
A poor patch followed as Justin Farrin Thorne scored nine runs, Sam Aquilina none and Sarfraz Ali seven. Indeed, things were looking bleak for Marsa at this juncture.
Then, Ronnie Sacco went in and steadied the ship, also retiring and returning to chalk up 27 runs.
However, after Sacco, Tony Sla-ter, John Farrugia, Gordon Hewitt and Eric Krishna only managed a paltry six runs between them all.
Aided with 15 extras, Marsa’s total tallied to a modest 89. Andy Naudi took three wickets, Dave Borg two and Matt Towns one.
There was one run-out where the two Naudi brothers combined perfectly to dismiss Hewitt. Derek Ali held his catch, off dangerman Spiteri, and John Grima took two catches behind the stumps.
Marsa made an early breakthrough in their reply and had Chris Naudi lbw in his very first ball.
Dave Borg followed at the crease. At first, he only seemed interested in dealing with boundaries, smashing two fours before going for a quick single and got run-out by a direct hit from Farrin Thorne.
Towns was just starting to settle in when he was deceived by a slow Sacco ball and got bowled for six runs.
While all this was going on, Malcolm Crabbe, who had opened the innings, was going along at almost a run-a-ball rate. He succeeded in hitting 27 runs before retiring.
Mark G. Sacco also retired for Melita, on 22 runs, as Andy Naudi (six) and Derek Ali (13) completed formalities for their team to reach the required target for victory.
Melita earned seven points for their win to go second in the standings behind Marsa who played two games more than their nearest pursuers in the standings.
A warm-up match ahead of the European Championship will be played on Saturday, involving the national team and a local selection.
Melita play POP Mellieħa at the end of the friendly from the Summer League.