GB cricketers pass the test of time
Jonathan Lederman believes the future of Jewish cricket is in safe hands after Team GB’s Open and Junior squads returned from the Maccabiah with medals.
Simeon Cohen was the outstanding performer with the ball for GB Juniors. He finished with an economy rate of 1.06 as they finished the three-team competition with silver after going down to South Africa in the final.
Noah Lipschitz’s innings of 62 was a highlight in the batting department, with Max Sugarman impressing on a couple of occasions against South Africa, and Barnaby Graff making a vital 48 not out against Israel.
Steven Reingold, the youngest member of the squad, was the top wicket-taker with seven victims, while Graff finished top of the batting averages on 63.
GB Cricket chairman Jonathan Lederman said: "The squad contained a number of players with junior county experience. They qualified for the final easily, but came up against a very experienced South Africa team. A silver medal was just reward for all the efforts they put in.
"Hopefully in four years time the bulk of the Open squad will be made up of players from this group as they have a huge amount of talent."
Junior Cricket manager Mark Landau said: "As a squad we had an amazing time, both on the field and enjoyed the whole Maccabiah experience.
"The boys played some good cricket at times, but came up against an extremely talented and mature South African side.
"I’m very proud of the way they have developed as a unit, not just during their time in Israel but throughout the whole 18-month process of selection, training and competition."
An inspired spell of bowling from Saul Weitzman guided the Open squad to bronze competition following a heated third place playoff match against India in Lod.
Having claimed back-to-back victories over Canada and Australia, GB just missed out on a place in the final on run-rate after five of the six teams finished level on 12 points.
Mark Bott and Danny Caro steered GB to 80-1. Bott (48) was dismissed in controversial circumstances, with Bension claiming a catch at slip, even though the ball appeared to have bounced in front of him. India battled their way back into the game with a flurry of wickets, but a crucial partnership between Marc Reingold and Neil Lederman helped GB rebuild the innings.
Chasing 210 for victory, India started well but Neil Lederman claimed the crucial wicket of Bension, with Dan Cohen taking a good high catch off a top edge at slip.
India kept up with the run rate but it was the introduction of Weitzman that turned the game back in GB’s favour. He ripped through heart of the Indian line-up, including the key wicket of David Elijah. Cohen, Brand and Reingold were also among the wickets.
GB manager Russell Corin said: "I'm very proud of the squad. As expected the tournament was very competitive and we came away with a medal which is a terrific achievement. The entire squad gave 100 per cent and we showed great character to win the final two games to win the bronze medal."
Bott finished as GB’s top run-scorer, while Benjamin Lederman took the honours with the ball.
South Africa retained the gold medal after beating Israel in Ashdod.