Israel made a winning start at the ICC European Cricket Championships Division Two although they were given a scare by minnow Luxembourg in Ropa, Corfu.
Playing on the no. 1 pitch, Luxembourg tried a different strategy after their bowlers had taken a pounding from the Spanish batsmen in the morning game, and captain Tony Whiteman elected to bat first on winning the toss.
Israel’s new-ball attack of Gerrit Grundling and Herschel Gutman was quickly on top, reducing Luxembourg to 15-4. Grundling finished with the remarkable figures of 2-3 from four overs, and only Taral Desai showed any sign of mastering the bowling, making a 37-ball 36 which included four fours and two sixes.
Josh Evans also produced a good spell for the Israelis, taking 2-22 from his four overs.
But the final score of 88-9 fell well short of what seemed likely to be necessary, and captain Gutman and Daniel Hyman began their chase confidently.
Richard Neale secured the breakthrough, however, removing both Hyman and Evans, and when Madhu Ramachandran dismissed the ever-dangerous Eshkol Solomon, and soon afterwards Gutman, while Chris Evans accounted for Raymond Aston, the Israeli innings was faltering on 40-5.
Danny Hotz and Yaniv Razpurker put their side back on track with a useful little stand of 28 for the sixth wicket. Razpurker and finally Yefeth Nagavkar saw their side home with more than three overs to spare.
ICC EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS DIVISION TWO
Luxembourg 88-9 (20 overs) Taral Desai 36
Israel 90-6 (16.5 overs)
Israel won by 4 wickets