Ra'anana won the first silverware of the Israeli ICA season after defeating Super Lions Lod by 26 runs in the Division One T20 Championships in Lod.
The match, played in seasonally hot conditions and at times ill-tempered, looked set to go down to the wire before the home side, chasing 160 to win, lost three wickets for just two runs in a dramatic 18th over, from which they were unable to recover.
At 67 for three after 10 overs Lions were well on track. After 15 overs, with the score on 108, they were even ahead of where Ra'anana had been at the corresponding point.
Needing 44 to win off four overs with Isaac Massil and Yaniv Razpurker well set at the crease, a grandstand finish was on the cards. However the next 12 balls ended the game as a contest, with first paceman Huddy Lieberman bowling a superb 17th over that went for just four runs, and then Steven Shein (3-27) removed all three of Massil (25), the dangerous Eshkol Solomon (1) and Razpurker (21) in the next.
Game over. Earlier in the day Dovi Myers and Daniel Hyman gave Ra'anana a useful start before Hyman (11) was first to go with the score on 42, playing on to the impressive Raymond Talkar (1-22 in his four overs).
The in-form Danny Hotz joined Myers at the wicket, and the pair took the score on to 84 before Myers fell to Isaac Massil for a well played 29.
Needing to accelerate the scoring rate Hotz took 18 off an Anim Solomon over, including two huge sixes over mid-wicket.
The Lions bounced back with a brilliant 17th over bowled by Isaac Massil (4-37), with three pinpoint yorkers cleaning up Josh Evans (8), and Akiva Lieberman and Adrian Vard for ducks.
Ra'anana needed a strong finish and it was provided by Hotz (66 not out off 39 balls) and Gabi Schachat (27 not out off 14 balls), who scored 34 off the last two overs of the innings to take the score to 159-5 which was always going to be a very demanding target as well as swinging the pendulum in their teams' favor ahead of the second innings.
Left-handed batsman Nir Dokarkar played himself into form ahead of the Israel senior and Under 19 tours of which he will be a part, scoring a sensational 116 not out as Dimona A proved too strong for a Bet Shemesh team playing just their second competitive game on the domestic scene.
Batting first in the Divison 2 T20 game played in Dimona, the home team scored 202-3 in their 20 overs, with Bet Shemesh replying with 116-7, ironically the same score Dokarakar had scored by himself.