Pearl Dental win Israel Night League


Pearl Dental Cricket Club lifted the Israel Night League title for the fourth time following a thrilling contest against Kiddush Club Jerusalem.

In a night of high quality cricket, the scoreline 105-59, looks very one sided, but Kiddush Club were in the game until three overs from the end when they lost quick wickets trying to accelerate the score.

David Wiseman and Danny Brill got Pearl off to a perfect start with a partnership of 27, with captain Iain Levy and Israeli international Gerrit Grundling adding 24. A late cameo of 34 between Rafi Karp and Yoni Salamon pushed the score to 105, always a tricky score to chase, especially in a final.

KCJ captain Jason Bloom and David Lashansky put on 25 for the first wicket to give their side a solid platform in the run chase, but some tight bowling restricted KCJ to 43 at the halfway stage. Aryeh Gluck and David Lewin with 23 meant that the last pair of Rael and Avron Olwyn needed 40 runs in four overs to seal a famous victory.

Man-of-the-match, Rafi Karp had other ideas and he finished his two over spell by taking four wickets in a performance that deservedly won him man of the match, especially after he top-scored with 20 runs with the bat.

The Olwyn brothers finished in the negative to end an excellent season on a disappointing note.

For Pearl captain, Iain Levy, he was understandably excited, saying: "It was a great occasion and game, played in great spirits.

"The standard was phenomenal and it was honestly one of the most enjoyable games I've been involved in.

"After four years playing night cricket, I can honestly say this was probably the best game I have been involved in.

"Full credit to the Kiddush Club, they have been great throughout the entire season and the final was no different.

"Every single one of the Pearl Dental players stepped up and did the team proud. It was a terrific win and whilst MVP Rafi Karp provided the icing on the cake, every single one of our players was on.

"We look forward to renewing the rivalry with Kiddush Club next season and to our push for five in the row."

KCJ captain, Bloom, praised the Pearl Dental players, saying that "they showed us who was boss in the final five overs and they should be proud of their victory.

"We had a lot of fun during the season and we look forward to coming back much stronger next season. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to play cricket in Israel and we thank you for this.

"It was an incredible season for us and we are very grateful to have made it through to the final. Being a debut team, we picked up the tactics of the game very quickly which lead us to the final, however Pearl's excellence and experience sure had the upper hand on us in the last five overs of the game.

"Despite the result, the Kiddush Club of Jerusalem are very proud of their achievement to obtain the silver medal. We will look back at where we went wrong and improve on our mistakes for next season!

"Thank you to all the officials involved in organising the league. It is something special to be apart of such an amazing game which is developing in such a beautiful country."

In the night's other game, Pommeranz Juice Good Old Boys lifted the Division Two trophy after defeating Bet Shemesh Royals, who were making their first appearance in a final.

PJGOB fell 30 runs short of their target of 86 in an entertaining match.

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