In a night of high-quality cricket, Pearl Dental Cricket Club defeated Kiddush Club Jerusalem in the final of the Night Cricket League last week.
The score line of 105-59 looks very one-sided, but it was nothing like that as the Kiddush Club were in the game until three overs from the end, when they lost quick wickets trying to accelerate the score.
David Wiseman and Danny Brill got Pearl off to a perfect start with a partnership of 27, with captain Iain Levy and Israeli international Gerrit Grundling adding 24. A late cameo by Rafi Karp and Yoni Salamon of 34 pushed the run tally to 105, always a tricky score to chase, especially in a final.
KCJ captain Jason Bloom and David Lashansky put on 25 for the first wicket to give their side a solid platform in the run chase, but some tight bowling restricted KCJ to 43 at the halfway stage. Aryeh Gluck and David Lewin’s partnership for 23 meant that the last pair of Rael and Avron Olwyn needed 40 runs in four overs to seal a famous victory.
But Rafi Karp had other ideas, and finished his two-over spell by taking four wickets in a performance that deservedly won him the man-of-the-match award, especially after he scored 20 runs with the bat.
The Olwyn brothers finished in the negative, to end an excellent season on a disappointing note. Pearl captain Iain Levy was understandably excited. “It was a great occasion and game. It was played in great spirits, the standard was phenomenal and it was one of the most enjoyable games I’ve been involved in,” he said.
“After four years playing night cricket, I can honestly say this was probably the best game I have been involved in. Full credit to the Kiddush Club – they have been great throughout the entire season and the final was no different. Every single one of the Pearl Dental players stepped up and did the team proud. It was a terrific win and while MVP Rafi Karp provided the icing on the cake, every single one of our players was on. We look forward to renewing the rivalry with Kiddush Club next season and to our push for five in a row.”
KCJ captain Bloom praised the Pearl Dental players, saying that “they showed us who was boss in the final five overs and they should be proud of their victory. We had a lot of fun during the season and we look forward to coming back much stronger next season. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to play cricket in Israel. It was an incredible season for us and we are very grateful to have made it through to the final. Being a debut team, we picked up the tactics of the game very quickly, which led us to the final. However, Pearl’s excellence and experience had the upper hand on us in the last five overs of the game. Despite the result, the Kiddush Club of Jerusalem are very proud of their achievement to obtain the silver medal.”
In the night’s other game, Pommeranz Juice Good Old Boys lifted the Division 2 trophy by defeating Beit Shemesh Royals, who were making their first appearance in a final.
The losers fell 30 runs short of their target of 86 in a very entertaining match.