Two newcomers to the Israel Night League - Kiddush Club Jerusalem and the Mumbai Challengers - produced the most exciting match of the season thus far as KCJ won by 28 runs.
Batting first, the Mumbai Challengers struggled to get going due to some terrific fielding, backed up by tight KCJ bowling. David Leshansky helped himself to three wickets as MC managed a below par 51.
KCJ were never in trouble and were always ahead of the asking run-rate as captain Jason Bloom and Leshansky scored a solid 21 from the first four overs as the remaining KCJ batsmen all batted sensibly. Michael Stern and Avron Olwyn were the top batting pair with 28 runs.
KCJ captain Jason Bloom was full of confidence after the match and said that "the guys had a lot of fun and as a team we really performed well all round. Winning our opening game will for sure lift our spirits throughout the competition, we are prepared for what ever and who ever comes our way."
In the league's other match, the Yagod Morris Cricket Club’s A and B team played one another in a very one-sided match.
Batting first, YMCA captain Brett Hickson and Clint Rubin put on 50 and the runs kept on piling up. YMCA new recruits Yefeth Nagavkar and Gershon Massil scored 55 out of a final score of 154.
If the YMCB bowlers thought that that was tough, it was nothing compared to how they fared in the batting department as they amassed a paltry 12.
Captain Hickson commented that "the first game of the season had an almost friendly feeling to it as we were up against our pals from the B team. It is easy to let your guard down in this type of game, so we made a conscious effort to be as clinical as possible, taking into consideration that run-rate might be a factor in determining which teams make it directly to the semi-finals this year.
"Fortunately we were able to put in a good performance and came away with a good result. I feel that the league in general has strengthened quite a bit this year. We will have to play well throughout to get a top four placing. Exciting times lie ahead."
In the next round of fixtures, the ‘Boys’ from the Pommeranz Juice Good Old Boys will be playing a double-header against the youngsters from Modi’in Young Lions. PJGOB were finalists in the first two Night Cricket finals and have since slipped down the ladder. After an injection of players, they would be expected to beat the MYL team as they did last year, although MYL captain, Yefeth Nagavkar will expect his young guns to have learned from last season and turn their outstanding ability into wins.
The PJGOB against Gold Insurance Bet Shemesh Lightning match should be a very tight affair and Alan ‘Wiggi’ Wigman’s Gold will be wanting to get some match points on the board after their first round defeat against Pearl Dental CC.
The eagerly anticipated match between newcomers Ra’anana Raiders, captained by Israel international player, Gabi Schachat and Bet Shemesh Royals looks like it could be a cracker, with both teams fielding very youthful sides.
No fewer than eight past under-19 Israel players will be playing in a match that both teams will have targeted to win. The Royals, boosted by new recruit Yehuda Bloch, will be hoping to get some match points on the board this season, something they didn’t achieve last year.