|European Under 15 (Division 2) Championship: Bologna, Italy, August 2009|
France totally outplay Israel
In one of the most one sided contests of the week, France crushed a bitterly disappointing Israel by nine wickets in a clash which won’t go down in the annals of European youth cricket.
The optimism shown by Israel in their gradual improvement during the week, quickly evaporated in a real horror show.
In the batting department, the one positive note is that managed to bat the 35 overs, crawling to 116 for 9 on a good track with a fast outfield.
They were boosted by France’s generosity with the extras, as they conceded 50 in total, including no fewer than 39 wides.
All of the Israeli batsmen struggled to cope with the bowlers, and most of the 66 runs off the bat came through a series of edges through the slip and third man region.
Two did manage to get to double figures, with Bar Mesika (13), and Ronnie Vituli (10) the relatively successful batters.
It had started well for Israel though as an obdurate opening stand between Ran Assif and Eitan Halabi, who both made 8 while adding 37. The introduction of spin into the attack in the form of Aamir Zahir and Kit Harding brought immediate dividends.
Zahir finished with the excellent figures of 4 for 21 in his 7 overs, while Harding’s 2 for 21 doesn’t tell the tale of a litany of fluffed dropped chances.
The bowlers who took wickets in the Israeli score of 116 for 9, were John Harding (1-17), Asad Parvez (1-12), and Fahad Latif (1-1).
In reply, France had little trouble knocking off the required runs, as both John Harding and Avishka Liyanaarachichi raced to 45 each in an opening stand of 101 in 11 overs.
Harding hit 9 fours and a six in his innings , which took just 33 balls, before playing on to Guy Admon, whose solitary over cost 20 runs despite the wicket.
Liyanaarachichi was slightly more circumspect than his opening partner, striking 7 fours in his 47 ball stay at the crease.
A day to forget for Israel, who are now consigned to the wooden spoon play off, while France can clinch fifth spot if they can overhaul the challenge of Switzerland.
Still a lot of bragging rights to be played for.