YMCA take advantage of the Jerusalem snow to reach the summit


With the road closure due to the heavy snow in the nations capital, the players from the Kiddush Club Jerusalem night cricket team were forced to stay home and were denied a chance to improve on their 100 per cent record this season in the Israel Night Cricket League.

This left an opening for second place YMCA to play their scheduled match against Gold Lightning in the knowledge that a win by more than 24 runs will ensure top spot on the league table.

YMCA comfortably beat Gold by 47 runs to sit level with KCJ at the top of the table. A superior run-rate, albeit by only 17 runs meant that KCJ were knocked off the top of the table for the first time this season as YMCA now occupy this position.

A much-improved YMCA unit, restricted Gold to 61, with Clint Rubin, Sol Talkar and Benji Myers all taking two wickets apiece. Gold fought hard all the way until the end but ultimately, the 61 was never going to put pressure on the YMCA batting line up as they pushed hard for runs to ensure top spot.

Daniel Hyman and Saul Weitzman shared a 41-run stand out of a total of 108. Although YMCA can boast a 100 per cent record, in the back of their minds, they know that the hard work has not yet begun as they have yet to face Modi'in Young Lions, KCJ, Pearl Dental and Mumbai Challengers - all teams that are within one win of the top spot.

If YMCA lose these matches, they will most probably be out of the top six. For YMCA captain, Brett Hickson - the hard work starts now.

Pearl Dental moved into third position after a comfortable win over the Bet Shemesh Braves, a team that fielded six juniors. Pearl skipper Iain Levy led the way with two wickets and he was ably supported by David Wiseman, Yoni Salomon and David Kable who picked up two wickets of their own.

The Braves will put the 177-run loss they suffered down to part of the learning process as the new boys into the league come to grips with far more experienced and older cricketers.

For Pearl, who welcomed back Anthony Harris after an absence of two years, they are win away from top spot.

Mumbai Challengers inflicted a heavy defeat on the Braves, as their 149 was always going to be too much for the inexperienced opponents. Shifron Nagavkar shared a 34-run partnership with Noar as Mumbai puled on the runs.

There was success for Eliav Raye and Dan Barnett who each picked up a wicket to add to the wickets Yonatan Schechterman and Yoni Berinson picked up in the game agains Pearl. Yarden Divekar - playing his first night match - took a stunning one-handed catch to add to his two wickets. David Dhorkarkar, Ilan Umedarker and Elkan Varsulkar picked up two wickets for Mumbai.

This week sees bottom placed YMCB, take on Ra'anana Raiders and Pommeranz. A win for Ra'anana Raiders will put them into a fantastic position to push for a top two finish and automatic semi-final qualification. Meanwhile, Pommeranz and YMCB, who have jointly tasted victory on one occasion this season in 11 attempts, a victory will be most welcome for one of these teams.

YMCA can extend their lead at the top with victory over KAT Israemploy a team that finished third last season and sitting ninth this season. A win for Pearl Dental will push them into the top two along with either KCJ or YMCA.

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