Games We Play: Cricket

Lions, Sri Lanka J’lem, Ra’anana tussle for T20 title; Beit Shemesh makes debut.

Cricket 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Cricket 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Three teams remain in the running for the two spots available in the T20 final going into the final round of matches this weekend.
Lions Lod, with an eightwicket win over Sri Lanka Jerusalem on Saturday, remains the only undefeated team in the competition, with Ra’anana, which plays Lions on Friday, and Jerusalem, which meets Young Ashdod on Saturday, both having lost one game each this season and also vying for a top-two finish.
The outside chance Young Ashdod had of reaching the final disappeared on Saturday with a five-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka Tel Aviv.
Bet Shemesh, the youngest member of the Israel cricket family, made its long-awaited debut appearance on the local stage, traveling to Beersheba on Friday to play a Division 2 T20 match. Despite falling 47 runs short in their chase of 188, the visitors, many of whom with very little experience of hard-ball cricket, accredited themselves extremely well and may yet surprise some of their more fancied opponents in their remaining fixtures this season.
Yefet Nagavkar (54*) and Eshkol Solomon (46*) steered Lions Lod to a comfortable eight-wicket win with 10 balls to spare over Sri Lanka Jerusalem in the afternoon in Lod, for which Manjula (70*) top-scored in a 156 for six total. Earlier in the day, Jerusalem was far too strong for Lod Rangers, which crashed to 90 all out in pursuit of 162.
In Ashdod, Sri Lanka Tel Aviv won both its games, first chasing 169 to beat Ashdod A with six wickets and an over to spare, and then pulling off an even better run chase, scoring 175 for five in just 18 overs to defeat Young Ashdod.
This week sees high-flying Lions Lod come up against a Ra’anana team which is desperately looking for the win to reach the finals.
In other action, Young Ashdod hosts Sri Lanka Jerusalem, Ashdod ‘A’ plays local rivals Neve Yonatan and Lod Rangers welcomes Sri Lanka Tel Aviv.