A Hollywood script... one round to play, three teams still in Division 1 title race
Wed, Aug 25, 2010 5:50 PM
The Division 1 league title will be decided on the last week of the season. Ra'anana, on 241 points, hold a slim 1 point lead over Lions Lod, with Young Ashdod, on 215 points, mathematically not yet out of the race. Ra'anana and Lions Lod will clash in what is essentially a final, with Young Ashdod, still left with a game against Neve Yonatan. Both games are to be played in two weeks time. The bottom half of the table is equally close, with Be'er Sheva, Ashdod A and Lod Rangers all battling to avoid finishing second from bottom and facing a play-off game against Sri Lanka Jerusalem.
Ra'anana began the second round of matches with a healthy lead over their rivals. However, defeat against Neve Yonatan opened up the title race, and although a win over Young Ashdod in Ashdod on Friday would have given them at least one hand on the trophy, it was not to be. The home side, needing to win with maximum points to boost their title aspirations, came out firing having been asked to bat first. Guest player Yaniv Razpurker led the way with a brilliant 106, and opener Shmuel Mozes contributed 44, allowing Young Ashdod to declare on 254 for seven after just 35 overs. With 45 overs to bat, the target was certainly feasible for Ra'anana, but that soon changed, with Kapila striking twice within three balls of the first over. Manjula picked up a third wicket soon afterwards, and at 23 for 3 Young Ashdod were right on top. However Daniel Hyman (43) and David Silver steadied the innings, adding 70 for the 4th wicket, although Ra'anana were never in a position to win it, batting out their overs on 160 for five and settling for a draw.
Neve Yonatan, with little to play for, were bundled out for 67 against Lions in Lod on Saturday, with Lod completing victory for the loss of three wickets.
Joel Reuben (56*) and Anis Zaveri (46) set up an easy 9-wicket win over Kiryat Gat in Ashdod on Saturday after the visitors were dismissed for 144, Hillel Awaskar taking four for 34. Shetty (six for 23) starred for Lod Rangers as they bowled out Be'er Sheva for 125 at Hadar Yosef. Netanel Borgarkar (59*) led the home side to a six wicket win.