Gut­man gets Is­rael run­ning

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport -

CRICKET IS­RAEL re­gained Euro­pean Divi­sion Two sta­tus with a con­vinc­ing six-wicket win over Croa­tia in a play­off match in Za­greb.

Elect­ing to bowl first in damp con­di­tions, the match was re­duced to 36 overs per side. Open­ing bowlers Eliezer Sam­son and David Mas­sil per­formed with their usual dis­ci­pline as the Croa­t­ians crawled their way through to the 18-over drinks in­ter­val with just 20 on the board, and Sam­son hav­ing claimed the only wicket.

The hosts came out with more in­tent af­ter the break, but with the score on 55, spinner Steven Shein picked up the sec­ond wicket, spark­ing a dra­matic col­lapse which saw the Croa­t­ians slump to 61-7.

The lower or­der helped them close the in­nings on 96-9. Shein fin­ished with 5-27 from eight overs, while Yaniv Razpurker was also im­pres­sive with the ball.

Is­rael be­gan their run chase pos­i­tively with Sh­muel Moses crack­ing a drive through the off side in the first over, but he was bowled with the to­tal on 13.

Shaliesh Bangerra and Eshkol Solomon soon fol­lowed, but skip­per Her­schel Gut­man led Is­rael home with an ag­gres­sive 47 not out. He took the game away from the Croats, smash­ing a se­ries of bound­aries through mid-wicket.

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.” The win caps a suc­cess­ful sum­mer for the na­tional team fol­low­ing their bronze medal in the Mac­cabiah Games and tri­umph in the Euro­pean Divi­sion Three tour­na­ment in Spain last month. It takes Is­rael back into the top 12 Euro­pean na­tions, with the team set to com­pete next year along­side Jer­sey, Guernsey, Gi­bral­tar, France and Ger­many in Divi­sion Two.

Fast scorer: Her­schel Gut­man

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