Team GB’s Junior Cricket team gave a good account of themselves in their final warm-up match against Radlett CC.
A dramatic weather change – that saw the pitch submerged in water on the Saturday night - was played in glorious sunshine on a road of a track with both sides intent on playing cricket the right way and in a fabulous spirit.
The Maccabiah have in their squad, four young Radlett players - Daniel Cohen, Joshua Hirschowitz (who missed this game) Marcus Freeman and newcomer Jacob Reza. Simon Moses, a non-travelling reserve was selected for Radlett to dish some dirt on his opponents.
The Radlett side was a strictly Under 19 squad as that is the age of the squads they are up against in Israel. Trying to get a balance was hard but hopefully it worked out. Radlett welcomed back the mercurial talents of Phil Simmons and Rob Watson for their first games for 11 months, the super spinning Sahil Shah for his first competitive game of the year and Kailash Morjaria and Matt Soffair were welcomed back from University.
With a crowd approaching three figures watching from all corners of the Radlett square, Matt Soffair “won” the toss and elected to bat. The Barbecue side of the ground came alive as the players took their place in the middle as Cohen prepared to bowl the first over at Soffair.
Soffair and Kailash were able to smash the wide balls for four on a lightning outfield and raced along until Soffair hooked Daniel straight into Andrew Greenwall Cohen’s hands. This brought JB to the wicket and the Maccabiah boys stuck manfully at bowling at JB. This will hold them in good stead in Israel. JB and Kailash were scoring quickly until Jacob Reza and Huddy Lieberman got some control back and Reza snared JB with a good caught and bowled.
Enter Simon Moses with a point to prove and he scored freely after a cagey start until Cohen caught him, quite brilliantly in the slips for a good 21. Kailash, meanwhile, was still going until he succumbed to tiredness and jug avoidance university debt on 44, caught from the impressive left arm spin of Steven Allweiss. This made Rob angry and he attacked the bowling with gusto until Josh Charles got fed up of Rob scoring and him not and did not run, to leave Rob 28 yards from the batting crease.
Josh and Shameel hit out gamely and got the score to 230 which allowed Phil Simmons to come and entertain us with his Dwayne bravo pads as he faced Cohen for the last over. A swing and a miss followed a swing and a miss and a sledge from the bowler followed by a swing and a miss and a sledge from Simmons. 235 was about par on that track.
Pick of the bowling was Allweiss who is not 17 until August. Cohen and Greenwall Cohen’s also bowled with pace and fire but just a bit short, and Lieberman and Reza bowled with a lot of control.
A sumptuous tea was enjoyed by the large crowd and thanks for providing the tea go to Sue Cohen, and to Meryl Charles for running the kitchen side with help from Clair Soffair and Tony Cohen.
The Maccabiah innings started with 15-year-old Joseph Greenwall Cohen, the youngest squad member, opening up with the oldest, 18-year-old Alex Ziff. Joseph has scored lots of runs this year in his travels for Vale, School and Finchley and looks a neat compact player and he played very well against some good bowling. He was helped get a sighter by Simmons’ first over that cost six but not one from the bat.
Yasir and Simmons bowled good spells and Rob came on for his first bowl in over a year and looked superb, as he bowled Joseph for a good 33 and got skipper Schusman with a snorter to have his caught by his opposite captain.
With Ziff anchoring the innings, Scotty Gerard and Reza were able to score at the other end, despite a probing spell of spin bowling from Shah and some serious pace from JB. Again hopefully the Maccabiah boys have learned from playing against JB. Shameel was a bit expensive for him but got some serious turn.
Reza, who has been working with Shane over the last few weeks, batted beautifully and finally delivered the score that his talent deserves, with a well made and fluent 44.
Once Olly Layton was out Cohen came in and played a good thinking innings and showed that he can bat, with a couple of beautifully timed boundaries.
The last over came with Maccabiah some 50 runs behind and Cohen on strike so Matt asked JB for some Radlett revenge on Cohen. JB hit him on the glove and Charles commented he was glad it his DC’s glove as he couldn’t see the ball, in the falling gloom.
Overall a good game played by two good sides, with the experience of Radlett just proving too strong for the Maccabiah boys.
Radlett CC wish the Maccabiah boys the best of luck in Israel and a return match could be on the cards if you win the medals!