Israel suffered an agonising three-run defeat in their ICC European Division 2 Championships opener against Norway in in Guernsey.
A dramatic late order collapse saw Israel lost five wickets for just 10 runs to fall just short at College Field. Chasing what looked a slightly below par Norwegian total of 204, a 6th wicket partnership of 61 between Gabriel Schachat and Yanik Razporker looked to have set up the win, before the intervention of Zaheer Ashiq.
The Norwegian skipper claimed three wickets for just seven runs as the pressure told on Israel, and their late order batsmen faltered ending on 201 all out with a ball to spare of the 50 overs.
Schachat had struck nine boundaries in his 68 from 101 balls, playing some majestic cover drives. He was well supported by Eshokol Solomon (48) and Yaniv Razporker (23).
As well as Ashiq, Imran Dawood (2-46) bowled well, while the other wicket takers were Amir Waheed, Mofassar Saeed, Zeeshan Siddiqui, and Shahbaz Butt.
Earlier Norway had produced a solid batting display to post 204 - no fewer than eight of their line up reached double figures, but only Damien Shortis who scored 66 from 98 balls went on to make a meaningful contribution.
Israel's bowlers stuck to their task well, with Yaniv Razporker (2-32), Steven Shein (2-40), Eliezer Samson (2-43), Josh Evans (2-50), and David Massil (1-37) the successful bowlers.
Definitely a missed opportunity for Israel, while Norway will be grateful for the win which looked unlikely until the final few overs.
After playing Guernsey today, Israel have a rest day on Thursday before games on consecutive days against France, Gibraltar and Germany.
Israel: Herschel Gutman (Player Coach), Raymond Aston, Shailesh Bangerra, Josh Evans, Daniel Hyman, Eitamar Kehimkar, David Massil, Safania Nagavkar, Yaniv Razporker, Gabriel Schachat, Steven Shein, Eshkol Solomon, Eliezer Samson, Raymond Talkar. Manager - Ezra Ben Yehuda