Cricket / KAT Israemploy Produces Upset of the Season

Yagod Morris Cricket Club and Gold Insurance Beit Shemesh Lightning play out a thrilling tie.

Haaretz Sports Staff
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The KAT Israemploy players rallied after a disappointing defeat against Yefet Nagavkar's improving Modi'in Young Lions by upsetting title favorite Super Lions Lod last Thursday in a highly engrossing encounter at the Modi'in cricket ground.

Some big hitting by KAT's David Berinson and smart batting by the rest of Chaim Emmett's team set Super Lions Lod a target of 81. Some excellent bowling and fielding meant that, with two overs remaining, SLL needed an unlikely 36 runs for victory. But father and son pair of Yefet and Yair Nagavkar smashed 24 in the penultimate over to force a thrilling final over where 12 runs were needed. KAT bowler Ron Sher held his nerve and picked up two wickets, handing his team a very impressive win.

Super Lions Lod's Shalom Rubin, with 2/1 in his two overs, was the pick of the SLL bowlers, while KAT's Garth Kaufmann, Daniel Finkelstein, Ron Sher and David Berinson each picked up two wickets apiece.

Earlier in the evening, KAT's total of 71 was not enough to stop Modi'in Young Lions picking up their second win in a row as they powered their way to 106. David Berinson was once again KAT's top performer with the bat, while the undoubted star of the match was 11-year-old Niv Nagavkar, who took 4 wickets in his two overs, including a sensational hat trick. Earlier in the week MYL beat the Yagod Morris Cricket Club 'B' team by 11 runs, overhauling YMCB's total of 62 runs.

Gold Insurance Beit Shemesh Lightning and Yagod Morris Cricket Club 'A', who have both spent time at the top of the table this year, played in a match at the end of December that had the trappings of a league classic.

Gold got off to a solid start, with David Kovler once again hitting some big early runs as his side amassed a season high total of 102. YMCA opening batsman Clint Rubin showed his worth by scoring a quick fire 17 as he and opening partner David Horovitz added 33. Saul Weitzman and captain Aryeh Myers put on an excellent display of running between the wickets, adding the highest partnership of the night with 34.

Requiring 16 runs for victory in the final four overs, the YMCA players could almost smell victory until Gold skipper Alan Wigman claimed two vital wickets, leaving YMCA with 9 to win in the last over. The last ball of the game, with YMCA needing four to win, is one the Gold players will want to erase from their memory very quickly: YMCA batter Saul Talkar swung and missed, the Gold wicketkeeper fumbled, allowing "Chopper" Harris and Talkar to complete a run.

What happened next was a complete Gold meltdown, as the ball was thrown and missed and thrown and missed again, enabling Talkar and Harris to scamper the three runs required to take the game into a dramatic Super Over playoff.

Again, it went down the last ball, with Gold needing two runs to pass YMCA's total of 36. Clint Rubin held his nerve by claiming a catch that seemed to be in the air for at least a minute. The Gold pair of Alan Wigman and Ilan Peretz were the unlucky batsmen at the end as YMCA did not quite manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Instead, Gold snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Last week's cricket action was some of the most exciting of the season in Israel.Credit: Ilan Assayag