Ra'anana coasted to a six-wicket win over Lod on Friday to secure a place in the Israel Cricket Association Cup final, which will bring down the curtain on the local season. Ashdod A defeated Diamonds in their semifinal played last weekend.
Against tight and disciplined bowling, Lod could manage just 129, as the gap between first and second division teams was once again exposed. Having won the toss and elected to bat, Lod was reduced to 33 for 3, before Hannan Sogadson stabilized matters with a patient innings of 24.
Abraham Penkar (17) and Jacob Levy (25) gave the innings some impetus in the closing overs, giving Lod some sort of total to bowl at. Adrian Vard (3 for 23) frustrated all the batsman with his lack of pace, and Des Moss (1 for 15) was as economical as ever in his seven overs.
Danny Hotz and Rafi Zauer made a bright start to the Ra'anana reply, bringing up the fifty in the sixth over. However, with the score on 72, left arm spinner Levy gave Lod real hope by removing Zauer (23) and David Silver (0) in successive balls.
The setback didn't hamper Hotz, who continued to play freely, taking Ra'anana to the brink of victory before being bowled for a well-played 72.
Looking ahead to the final, Ra'anana would probably be considered slight favorites on the basis that it has beaten Ashdod twice in the league this year. Batting is its real strength with all top five batsman in good form.
However, Ashdod should not be underestimated. It scored a fantastic win over Lions Lod in the quarterfinals, and has enough talent and experience to be confident of securing the trophy.
The final begins at 9 a.m. Friday in Ashdod.