Young Ashdod's end long wait for title
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Young Ashdod's 18-year wait to lift the Division One - Dudi Silbowitz Trophy came to and end in Ashdod on Saturday as they comprehensively beat Sri Lanka Tel Aviv by a massive 150-run margin.
Young Ashdod started the day four points clear of second place SLTA and after winning the toss, YA captain, Raymond Aston had no hesitation in batting first.
The home side were soon in trouble and at 71/4 things were looking good for the visitors, but man-of-the-match, Kapila Parera scored an invaluable 47 with Ishara Tanekoon chipping in with 65 not out to post a total of 227.
Sri Lanka Tel Aviv, set up the run chase in comfortable fashion, reaching 25 with no loss before Parera (6 wickets) and Manjula Jayasinge (3 wickets) ripped through the SLTA batting line-up, bowling them out for a paltry 77.
Young Ashdod captain, Raymond Aston said: "I have waited a long long time to lift the trophy. Every squad member contributed to our success and we are going to have a big party to celebrate."
Although Sri Lanka Tel Aviv were the losers on the day, they must be given huge credit on a brilliant first division debut season, finishing runners-up, after last year earning promotion by capturing the Division 2 title.
Ra'anana secured third place in the league standings after defeating Neve Yonatan by eight wickets in Ashdod on Friday.
Thumped in their last two matches by both Young Ashdod and Sri Lanka after suffering batting meltdowns to rival that of Australia's at Newlands last week (well not as bad but then that really would have been hard to beat), Ra'anana at least finished the season on a high.
Dovi Myers (73*) led the Ra'anana chase of their 198-run target, with Danny Hotz (42) also chipping in.
Earlier in the day, it seemed the hosts would struggle to reach 100, reduced to 55 for six before an 83-run seventh wicket partnership between veterans Aby Daniels (45) and Shamu Razpurker (28), followed by a further 54-run stand between Daniels and Itamar Kehimkar (33*) for the eighth wicket, at least ensured Neve Yonatan would have something to defend. As it turned out that was well below what would have been required anyway.
Ra'anana CC who had last month handed the 1st team captaincy over to Israel Under 19 captain Rafi Schachat was thrilled to win his first senior game as captain, claiming that he would "love the opportunity to take on the position full time next season, the Under 19 European Championship was a great learning experience for me.
"It's challenging captaining a senior side as it takes time to earn the respect from the senior team-mates. But, I do believe that with the experience I've gained, and the experience I will hopefully gain in the near future, I could become the next permanent RCC captain."
Lod Rangers warmed up to next week's vital promotion/relegation playoff match against Lions Be'er Sheva, by beating Lions Lod by five runs in a thrilling match in Lod.
Batting first, Lod Rangers managed a challenging total of 194 with Eshkol Solomon (3 wickets) the pick of the Lions Lod bowlers.
Lions Lod started their run chase in comfortable fashion with Yefeth Nagavkar (55) and David Massil (15) putting on 60 for the first wicket before the Lod Rangers bowlers starting doing damage with Eliezer Sampson (3 wickets) and Herschel Gutman (4 wickets) the pick of the Lod Rangers bowlers.
Needing 15 to win with three wickets and six overs remaining, Gutman removed danger man Eshkol Solomon (32), Gershon Massil (2) and Anim Solomon (0) in the space of eight balls as Lions Lod captain, Isaac Massil (11 not out) could only watch from the non strikers end.
Lions Lod who were runners-up in the T20 competition finished fifth on the log table while Lod Rangers play Lions Be'er Sheva on Saturday in a match that will define both teams seasons as the winners will be allowed to play in the first division next season, while the losers play in the second division.