GB Open cricket stun South Africa
Team GB Open Cricket made a sensational start to the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel with a 43-run win over defending champions South Africa in Lod, thanks in large to brilliant performances from Marc Reingold and young bowler Benjamin Lederman.
A gutsy innings of 48 from Stanmore 1st XI captain Reingold helped GB rebuild the innings after pace man Ryan Fingleson had destroyed the GB top-order on a bouncy track.
Adam Brand had won the toss but the decision backfired early on as GB failed to cope with Fingleson who smashed Mark Bott's stumps with a vicious inswinging yorker early on. Levy then trapped Lawrence Bensusan LBW with the very next ball. There was controversy moments later when Danny Caro was sent back to the pavilion despite the ball appearing to strike him on the elbow, with 2nd slip claiming the catch.
That brought Brand to the crease, to join Hilton Nathanson, but Fingleson claimed the prize wicket of the GB skipper, with 2nd slip grabbing a low chance for a golden duck.
Nathanson and Reingold slowly rebuild the innings, striking some superb shots to the boundary. Reingold combined defence with attach to good effect but after a good partnership, Nathanson mistimed a shot and was caught in the covers. Richard Black came and went, feathering a catch behind, while Yoav Lebens was stumped.
But a crucial partnership between Neil Lederman (28) and Reingold ensured GB had something to defend, with Lederman blasting some powerful shots to the boundary. He eventually holed out and his brother, Ben, was run out, trying to get Reingold back on strike.
No. 11 Dan Cohen added some useful runs late on - including one excellent pull shot for four - before the innings ended with the impressive Reingold caught by the keeper off a skier.
Chasing 143 for victory off 50 overs, SA tried to see off the new ball, with Reingold finding the edge a couple of times, and Neil Lederman beating the bat, while Neil kept the pressure on at the other end.
But what was to follow was something really quite special as Benjamin Lederman joined Neil Lederman and the pair took he game away from SA with some quality pace bowling. Ben sent the stumps flying for his first two wickets, while Neil, who claimed the first wicket, kept the pressure on at the other end, finishing up with three wickets.
Ben played the starting role and SA simply had no answer to his pace and movement, all this after he had damaged ankle ligaments in a slip with his first delivery.
SA were really up against it, especially with only 10 batmen available following a serious injury in the field.
Lederman bowled in the perfect areas in a wicket that offered great assistance to bowlers bowling in the right areas and GB were buzzing, showing great spirit and intensity in the field.
The wickets continued to tumble as Ben finished with Maccabiah best figures of 6-23 as SA buckled - a top effort later rewarded with the man-of-the-match accolade.
Reingold capped an excellent all-round display with an excellent spell of bowling but it was Neil Lederman who sealed the win with the final wicket, with Caro pouching the catch at mid-wicket as GB claimed their first Maccabiah win over SA since 1985.
With a small total to defend, The efforts of the GB bowling attack, which also included Dan Cohen, were rewarded by an excellent performance in the field, full of intensity and great team spirit and they go into Sunday match against India in buoyant mood.
Elsewhere in the competition, Australia boosted the gold medal hopes with an easy win over Canada, while India made a great stray by beating Israel.