(photo credit: Courtesy)
Ra’anana won its first Israel Cricket League title in 20 years – and fourth in
club history – with a draw against Lions Lod on Friday, which was enough to earn
the Dudi Silbowitz Trophy.
The final round of Division 1 matches played
over the weekend began with three teams – Ra’anana, Lions and Young Ashdod – all
having a chance of finishing top of the table. In the end, it was Ra’anana that
secured the necessary bonus points, finishing on 256 points to Lions’ 253, with
Young Ashdod finishing back in third place with a narrow one-wicket defeat in
its game against fourth-placed Neve Yonatan.
At the bottom end of the
standings, Beersheba slumped to an eight-wicket defeat to Ashdod A and Lod
Rangers was far too strong for already relegated Kiryat Gat, meaning the Negev
team will have to face up to Sri Lanka Jerusalem in a promotion/relegation match
later this month.
Two strong and evenly matched teams, each having nine
past and present Israeli cricket internationals, with seven current
international players who recently returned from a successful European Div. 2
tournament in Guernsey, faced each other in Lod on Friday.
to bat first, Ra’anana’s Huddy Lieberman removed Shalom Rubin (1) and Yefet
Nagavkar (25) early, and Lod would have been in even more trouble had two
catches not been dropped within the first three balls of the 10th over bowled by
A terrific 189-run 5th wicket stand between Isaac Massil and
Shailesh Bangerra brought Lod firmly back into the game and set for a big score,
before a late order collapse, including the wicket of Massil for a superb 96,
left Lod just short of their 250-run target, and gave Ra’anana invaluable
bowling bonus points they never seemed like getting.
Set 246 in 36 overs
to win, the Ra’anana batters were well aware scoring 175 for the loss of less
than seven wickets would be enough to guarantee them the title due to the
bonus-point situation. David and Isaac Massil were both superb with the new
ball, restricting Ra’anana to just 24 runs in the first 10 overs, with Daniel
Hyman (11) falling to Isaac Massil on the stroke of the 10-over drinks
At 96 for three after 22 overs, the game was evenly poised,
however Matz, joined by Evans, found another gear, and began taking the attack
to the tiring Lod bowlers. Both batsmen played superbly, taking the score past
the crucial 175-run mark, and then beyond 200 as Lod tried unsuccessfully to
break the partnership. Matz finished not out on 97, Evans was undefeated on 45,
as they combined for a 107-run stand.
Ra’anana completed its 36 overs on
205 for 3, allowing for the celebrations to commence.
After a break for
the holiday period, the domestic season resumes later this month with the
popular Twenty20 tournament.Local cricket fans will also be able to
enjoy live cricket on television in the coming weeks, with Eurosport 2 covering
the Champions League tournament to be played in South Africa beginning September