Wonderful Weitzman steers GB to bronze


An inspired spell of bowling from Saul Weitzman guided Team GB to bronze in the Open Cricket competition following a heated third place playoff match against India in Lod.

Having claimed back-to-back victories over Canada and Australia, GB had just missed out on a place in the final on run-rate after five of the six teams finished level on 12 points.

On a typically steamy day in Lod, GB's decision to bat first appeared to have backfired early on when opener Joe Williams was caught behind off his gloves.

Danny Caro joined the in-form Mark Bott at the crease and the pair added 80 runs for the second wicket until 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.

Caro (16) was adjudged LBW to the first ball of the next over and the wickets of captain Adam Brand, Hilton Nathanson and Richard Black soon followed.

But a crucial partnership between Marc Reingold and Neil Lederman helped GB rebuild the innings. Both players combined solid defence with some expansive shorts to steer the team past the 200 mark. Dan Cohen hit an important boundary while Reingold passed his half century in style, smashing a giant six over mid-wicket.

Chasing 210 for victory, India started well but Neil Lederman claimed the crucial wicket of Bension, with 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, with Caro claiming two important catches.

Needing one wicket to seal the win, there was a lengthy pause after an altercation on the sidelines but once play resumed, Reingold claimed the final wicket to spark scenes of wild celebration.

Bott finished as GB's top-scorer, while Ben Lederman was the leading wicket-taker.

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 percent and we showed great character to win the final two games to win the bronze medal."

South Africa retained the gold medal after beating Israel in Ashdod.

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