The Israel Academy’s struggles continued in the Israel Night Cricket League following back-to-back defeats against YMCB and PDCC B.
PDCC B captain Joe Kornwasser smashed a remarkable 48 in 20 balls as his team stacked up 149 runs to Israel Academy’s 60.
Kiddush Club Jerusalem, fresh from their first win in three months, made it two in a row with the result of the season, beating top placed MYL in a highly absorbing contest that had the most combined runs in eight years of night cricket history.
MYL captain Yogev Nagavkar put KCJ captain, Aryeh Gluck’s team into bat in the late match on Saturday night. KCJ scored an excellent 144 with youngster Gabi Glass top-scoring with 29 runs.
MYL started their run chase well and needed a further 11 runs for victory, with one over remaining. But Benjy Flacks, fresh from his man-of-the-match performance in the previous game, bowled a beautiful over only conceding one run as KCJ won their second consecutive match, while MYL suffered their second loss this season.
The other match saw Pearl Dental Cricket Club come up against Redwood Sports international. Pearl Dental, five times winner of the league but now languishing in last place, took on Redwood, who were looking to bounce back after, what and they would be the first to admit was a poor performance in their loss to a rejuvenate Kiddush Club side.
Pearl batted first and solid partnerships between David Wiseman and Meir who put on 31 and Reuven Jacobs and Simon Jones (47) saw Pearl at the half way point of their innings reach 78 but also crucially having used their power-play overs.
Redwood then slowly began to claw their way back into the game, Gideon Sacofsky, the nominal wicket-keeper, took two in two although collapsed under the pressure of the hat-trick ball when he delivered a double-bouncing wide. At the end of the 12th over Pearl were on 99 and Redwood gathered together in a huddle to emphasise what they needed to do to keep the score down as much as possible.
Danny Verbov and Danny Brill came out to bat and scored 18 off the first two overs but not without some difficulty in the face of some very rapid bowling from Josh Evans whose only error was that he strayed down the leg-side too often.
Pearl were on 117 with two overs to go and Redwood were facing up to a difficult chase. On the first ball of the next over bowled by Indian-born Allon Benjamin, the game turned. Danny Verbov launched the ball towards the back fence, and it looked a sure six, but Mikki Cohen had different ideas, leaping to pluck the ball out of the air one-handed before it reached the fence.
This brilliant piece of fielding galvanised Redwood to give their all, and after a single off the next ball, Verbov faced two dot balls and the pressure was rising as Pearl were minus one for the over after four balls.
The fifth ball saw Verbov slog sweep what would a six over square leg on most cricket grounds, but, unfortunately for him and Pearl, it wasn’t the best shot to hit in the night league as the 'six and out rule' is minus five and out in the night league. Pearl finished the over on 110 and only managed five off the last Josh Evans over to set Redwood a target of 116 to win.
Redwood opened with Thomas Covell and their captain Alan 'Wiggi' Wigman. They put on a solid 27 to act as a springboard for the chase. Next in were Eden Nissen and Allon Benjamin. Apart from one run-out, they gave their team-mates watching on the sidelines some nervous moments with their attempts at running. Despite this they managed to take the total at the half way point to 45, leaving another 71 needed off the last eight overs.
Next in were Gideon Sacofsky and young Gidi Hilkowitz, the third partnership is often the one that takes the power play but the Redwood tactical committee had decided to hold off and leave that to the last four overs and their strongest pair of batsmen. They managed a respectable 26 meaning Redwood needed 46 off the last four overs to win the game and this was going to be down to Mikki Cohen and Josh Evans. They took the power-play and Redwood scored 32 off the first two overs as some very aggressive calling and running by Evans and Cohen combined with good batting, saw Pearl crumble under the pressure.
With two overs to go the target was now 13 which was reached in one over, and all that was left was for Evans and Cohen to play out the last over and not lose a wicket but this is not how they play cricket and Cohen drove a flat six to confirm the victory and ensure that even a loss of a wicket wouldn’t matter.
Final Score Pearl 115 Redwood 127. Man of the match was awarded to Josh Evans.