The first round of the Israel Night Cricket League Division One play-offs saw third-placed Redwood up against sixth placed Modshem and fourth-placed YMCA taking on fifth-place Israel Thunder.
The games were postponed from their original date due to the monsoon like storms which hit Israel during the week.
Redwood and Modshem faced off on Saturday night, and having won the toss and elected to bowl first, Redwood took the battle to Modshem. The batting team opened with the two Danny’s - Lange and Brumer - who struggled against some tight bowling, led by Redwood captain Wiggi Wigman who finished with figures of 2-1 which earned him the bowler-of-the-match performance.
Wigman was ably supported by the regular wicket-keeper Gideon Sacofsky, who picked up a total of three wickets, including a stumping by the substitute keeper Mikki Cohen of Rannana.
Modshem were on 16 after four overs and the next pair of Gary Bloch and captain Jamie Lazarus only managed to add another nine leaving Modshem on a paltry 25 at the half-way point.
Next in were Daniel Hyman and Yoni Raff - arguably Modshem’s strongest pair - showed their qualities by adding 36 during their four overs, which also included the two power-play overs.
So with one pair to come Modshem progressed to 61, which did not seem enough given the very formidable looking Redwood batting line-up.
Saul Weizmann and Martin Lange were the last pair and, facing some very tight bowling spearheaded by Matt Hoffmann, and well supported by Josh Evans and Allon Benjamin, managed to limp to a 17-run partnership giving Modshem a final total of 78. The only blot on Gideon’s night was him dropping a sitter behind the stumps which would have given Hoffmann a second wicket.
This small target meant that Modshem could not afford to bowl many wides and so give Redwood easy runs. However, in the first eight overs, which consisted of partnerships of 20 between Wigman and Thomas Covell, and 32 between Sacofsky, the eventual Richard Ableson man-of-the-match, and Allon Benjamin, Modshem in fact bowled 17 wides, a total of 34 runs.
At the halfway point, Redwood had already reached 52, leaving them needing only another 27 off the last eight overs, including the power-play.
Benhur Moses and Evans came to the crease, and despite losing three wickets, had a partnership of 31 which saw Redwood to a total of 89 after 12 overs, including the power-play.
As Redwood were already ten runs ahead at this point, all that was left for Hoffmann and Cohen was to safely play out the last four overs, which they did comfortably as Modshem continued to bowl too many wides and Redwood finished on 119, earning them a victory by 41 and awaiting the winner of the second play-off game.