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Cricket: Israel clinch Euro promotion

    Israeli cricket captain Herschel Gutman
    Israeli cricket captain Herschel Gutman

    Israel regained Division Two after beating Croatia by six wickets in a European playoff in Zagreb.

    Captained by Herschel Gutman, the Division Three champions won the toss and elected to bowl after the start had been delayed due to wet conditions, and the game reduced to 36 overs.

    Opening bowlers Eliezer Samson and David Massil kept things tight, and after 15 overs the Croatians were struggling to keep the scoreboard ticking, going along at just over one-run an over.

    The introduction of spinner Steven Shein took the game away from the Croats. Looking to increase the tempo, Shein’s flight and guile bewildered the hosts. He finished with 5-27 as Croatia finished on 96-9.

    After moving himself up the order, Gutman took on the mantle of pinch-hitter, blasting an aggressive 47 not out as Israel ran out comprehensive winners.

    Gutman said: “This victory is the culmination of a long summer for the team, which started with good results at the Maccabiah, winning the tournament in Spain and now doing what was required here.

    The boys have gelled into a tight unit, and hopefully we can continue producing positive results next year against stronger opposition.”

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