Israel Night Cricket League hotting up
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After a flurry of matches in recent weeks, league positions in the Israel Night Cricket League are changing faster than the news about a new coalition in the Likud government.
After resuming their campaign, Lions Lod have not only climbed up the table to second place, but they have amassed a huge total of 419 runs in their last three matches. Modi'in Young Lions, Bet Shemesh Royals and Pommeranz Juice Good Old Boys were on the receiving end of some dominant cricket played by Gershon Massil's team.
The Bet Shemesh Royals have not had the best of campaigns, with consecutive defeats to Modi'in Young Lions, Lions Lod and Dialgoz Dragons. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the young team, sitting in last place, as they have grown in confidence and stature with every performance.
Their most recent performance - a 27-run loss to league leaders Dialogz Dragons - was a highly entertaining ever and if some catches by the BSR players were held, the result might have been very different.
Eli Shaw continues to impress with his all-around displays and he is shaping into a very useful wicketkeeper/batsmen who has high hopes of being included in the under-18 Israel Maccabiah squad. Alex and Arieh Lewis, along with Natan Wigman, have improved with the bat and have produced some useful contributions to date.
Pommeranz Juice Good Old Boys, last year's runners-up, have had a season to forget as they have have not won a game since the opening match of the season which came in late October. Yet, they still have a mathematical chance of reaching the quarter-finals if they beat Yagod Morris Cricket 'B' team on Thursday evening. Both teams have suffered a combined total of 11 losses in a row.
Alan Wigman's, Gold Insurance Bet Shemesh Lightning, who finished third last year, have had a mixed season having been unable to string a number of wins together. They are currently sitting in sixth place, tied with the Modi'in Young Lions team and the upcoming game between both teams will almost certainly cement a place in the top six.
KAT Israemploy, having won their last four matches, are in superb form. Having most recently beaten PJGOB by a comprehensive 141 runs, they next face league leaders Dialogz Dragons, knowing that a victory over the current leaders will almost guarantee them a clear passage way into the semi-finals, while relegating the Dialogz Dragons team into third or possibly fourth position.
Brett Hickson's Yagod Morris Cricket 'A' sit in a healthy fourth position, knowing that winning their last two games, both by healthy margins will not only secure their top six spot, but will give them an outside chance of a top two finish. They play bottom place Bet Shemesh Royals over the weekend and with their current run rate behind the three teams above them, they will target this game to close the gap.
After suffering a five-run loss to YMCA, David Wiseman's Pearl Dental CC need at least one more win to secure their top six place. They are currently sitting in fifth position with two games remaining, both games being against the teams directly below them. But defeat to both PJGOB and YMCB, would see last year's champions possibly heading for an early exit.
ISRAEL NIGHT CRICKET LEAGUE TABLE
1. Dialogz Dragons Pl. 6, W. 5, L. 1, Pts. 184, Pts Average. 30.7
2. Super Lions Lod Pl. 8, W. 6, L. 2, Pts. 232, Pts Average. 29
3. KAT Israemploy Tigers Pl. 8, W. 6, L. 2, Pts. 232, Pts Average. 29
4. Yagod Morris Cricket Club 'A' (YMCA) Pl. 7, W. 5, L. 2, Pts. 198, Pts Average. 28.3
5. Pearl Dental Cricket Club Pl. 7, W. 4, L. 3, Pts. 178, Pts Average. 25.4
6. Gold Insurance Bet Shemesh Lightning Pl. 6, W. 3, L. 3, Pts. 144, Pts Average. 24
7. Modi'in Young Lions Pl. 6, W. 3, L. 3, Pts. 144, Pts Average. 24
8. Pommeranz Juice Good Old Boys Pl. 5, W. 1, L. 4, Pts. 90, Pts Average. 18
9. Yagod Morris Cricket Club 'B' (YMCB) Pl. 7, W. 0, L. 7, Pts. 98, Pts Average. 14
10. Bet Shemesh Royals Pl. 6, W. 0, L. 6, Pts. 70, Pts Average. 14
- qualification - top 2 qualify automatically for the semis
- Position 3 plays 6
- position 4 plays 5 in the quarter-finals, winners reach the semi-finals
- losers of each semi-final play in the 3rd/4th match