|European Under 19 (Division 2) Championship: Belgium, August 2009|
Gabi Schachat stars with bat and ball as Israel overwhelm Germany
A splendid all-round performance by Gabi Schachat took Israel to a massive 178-run victory over Germany on the tournamentís opening day on Monday, but the match of the day was as Lasne, where France took Belgium to the brink of defeat before the hosts pulled off an exciting two-wicket win.
Schachat came to the wicket with his side on 24 for three after winning the toss and electing to bat, and although he was dropped almost immediately, things soon became worse for the Israelis as they slumped to 88 for six. Only then did Schachat find a steadying partner in Nir Dokarker, and these two added 69 for the seventh wicket.
At 157 Dokarker, on 36, fell to a return catch by Mohammed Hayat, who finished with figures of three for 52, but then Raphael Schachat gave Gabi further support, helping him add a further 49 for the eighth.
The senior Schachat reached his century shortly before the innings closed, finishing with a 124-ball not-out 102, and Israel ended on 244 for eight, a remarkable recovery.
When Germany replied Shlomi Korman picked up two quick wickets, but it was Gabi Schachat (with four for 14 in five overs) and Safania Nagavkar (three for 12) who shot the opposition out for a measly 66, with Kashif Mahmood top-scoring with 18.
Hosts Belgium were given a real scare by France, who defended a modest total of 167 with great determination, and when the eighth Belgian wicket fell in the 41st over with 29 still needed it looked as if the French were on their way to a first-day win.
They had been given a brisk start by Nirvam Shah and Sebastian Shukla, who put on 37 in double-quick time, but when Shah was caught behind for 26, made from 20 deliveries with four fours and a six, wickets began to fall.
But Ed Still played a resolute innings, and in partnership with the aggressive Shashank Kothari, who hit two fine straight sixes, saw his side home with three overs to spare. Still finished with 35 not out, made from 95 balls, which Kothari contributed a run-a-ball 22.
Earlier, opener Robin Murphy had been the mainstay of the French innings, making a patient 137-ball 38 and adding 66 in a vital third-wicket partnership with wicketkeeper William Smati (34). Murphy eventually became one of five victims for Akshat Sanghvi, who also cleaned up the tail to finish with five for 27.
Meanwhile at Mechelen, the Isle of Man completed a comfortable 47-run win over Italy. The Manxmen won the toss and decided to bat on a true but slow pitch.
Openers Jack Rowlands and Max Stokoe gave the islanders a good start, putting on 75 for the first wicket, and after they departed the rest of the team chipped in, though they found the going tough against the Italian spinners. The lower order were unable to score boundaries in the final overs, with Italy's Roshan Abeywickrama taking two wickets off the final two balls.
With 177 on the board the Italians knew it was going to be a tough task, and they soon lost opener Lositha Kankanamage at 19. Abeywickrama had started confidently, but his dismissal for 22 with the total on 32 was a crucial moment in the game.
The Italians had problems scoring off the Isle of Manís opening bowlers, Daniel Hawke and Max Stokoe, and the introduction of medium pace and later spin meant that Italy began to lose wickets looking for more runs.
None of the Italians made their mark with the bat and it was a flurry of extras that made up the final total of 130. Alex Stokoe ended up with three wickets at a cost of 26 runs.