It was a balmy December evening – the perfect opportunity for the YMCC barmy army to strut their stuff. The night league TMS commentary team, repleat with Battenburg cakes and lashings of hot tea set the scene for the WhatsApp afficianados as Myers, the YMCC captain, won the toss and elected to bat.
Pause for a moment and doff your caps in honour of the teen heroes of the Academy. Most of the squad players are Israelis – as in their parents are not from England, Australia, India or anywhere where bat and willow means something. These a sabras who up until a couple of years ago thought cricket was an insect to be heard on a summer eve in the humid climes of the Holyland. Thanks for pausing. And now – game on!
YMCC openers Young Neppe and Hipster Ben-David made a solid 28, followed by an entertaining 37 from man-of-the-match Warren Lewis, ably supported by Kosky. Geffen and Chopper kept the ball rolling, or flying, with a 38-run partnership followed by captain Myers and Scott who brought the total up to 118 with a hard-fought 15.
Shout outs go to all the Academy bowlers who kept a solid line, at times mesmerising some of YMCC’s most experienced batsmen. Kudos to Academy wicket takers in the latter stages of the YMCC innings, Gabi Glass and player coach Yoni Sidelsky who picked off two batsmen in one over. Actually it was the same batsmen twice – that’s night cricket for you.
Time for the Academy to shine and while 119 looked like a tall order for the youngsters, they certainly gave it their best. They put in their big guns to signal intent and Gotlieb and Sidelsky scored a quickfire 37, helped by some loose bowling from the Cees.
YMCC struck back as the Academy’s second pair of Glass and Noah Lewis (son of the man-of-the-match) struggled to get runs on the board. At the halfway stage, the Academy were on 44 – well behind the runrate.
Noam Glass and Zelniker put on 13 to leave the final pairing of Krombein and Yonah Glass requiring an epic innings to bring glory to the young pretenders. Steady bowling from Scott, Geffen and MOM Lewis resulted in a final partnership of 30, defeat for the Acadamy and a rare victory by 31 runs for the Cees.
Israel national ace and umpire for the evening Eshkol Solomon paid tribute to the Academy urging them to keep practising and playing until they will become the trailblazers for future generations of cricketers in Israel.
It was left for the Cees to pick up all the individual honours, with Geffen and Neppe taking the batting and bowling medals respectively before the red carpet was rolled out for Warren Lewis whose fine performance included 32 runs, nine dot balls in his two-over spell and some superb offside fielding.
In the other rounds results, league leaders MYL thrashed Redwood by 55 runs (155-100), YMCA picked up full points by defeating PDCC by 69 runs (125-56) and Gold ‘A’ also secured maximum points by beating Modshem by 64 runs (125-61).
The upcoming round of fixtures sees Modshem Super Strikers come up against the winless Israel Academy, Gold ‘B’ host YMCC with a top four spot still up fro grabs. Modshem Super Sixes play league leaders MYL while the two teams sitting at the bottom of division 1, KCJ and PDCC go ahead to head looking for a much needed win.