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Israel close in on semi-finals

    Israel took a big step towards the tournament semi-finals when they beat one of their main rivals, Portugal, in a match reduced to 14 overs a side in Corfu.

    The teams arrived at the Messonghi ground to find that a soaked outfield would make it impossible for play to begin on time, and when the match was finally able to get under way six overs had been sliced off each innings.

    Portugal did well to contain the Israeli batsmen early on, but a 29-ball innings of 40 by Eshkol Solomon enabled Israel to seize the initiative, and then Yaniv Razporker cracked 25 from 10 deliveries to get his side up to 118-5.

    Tariq Aziz and Bilal Safdar put on 68 for the second wicket for Portugal and their side was strongly placed at 78 for one, but once Bilal was out for 19, the first of three victims for Josh Evans, the wickets started to tumble.

    The Israelis held onto their catches, and excellent fielding enabled them to increase the pressure on the Portuguese batsmen, who steadily fell behind the required rate.

    Tariq Aziz’s 30-ball 45 was the only really substantial innings for Portugal the chase ended 17 runs short.

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