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Maccabi-Ajax Cricket Club confident of semis success

Posted: 12-Mar-2021 by Cricket Senior

All three of Maccabi Ajax Cricket Club’s mens teams have finished in the top four in their respective grade of the Mercantile Cricket Asssoications 2020/21 season, earning spots in Sunday’s semi-finals.

The jewish club’s first XI will head into their A grad semi again third place Monash University confident of their chances of winning, given they finished second on the ladder with nin wins, 2 draws and four losses, and in their last match, toppled the competition leaders the Melbourne Cobras.

Their captain Zak Fleisher, top scored with 54 runs as his team set a total of 140, and then bolwed the Cobras out for just 79, thanks largely to a superb spell of bowling by Nochum Paltiel, who posted figures of 5-14.

The week before, their leading run-scorer Amit Meyerowitz made 76 runs in a win over Old Camberwell Grammarians while spinner Mark Soffer took 5-19.

“It’s a great feeling to make the semis….with all the uncertainty surrounding this season to achieve what we have is awesome,” Fleisher said.

“This Sunday will be tough assignment against Monash who are a well rounded side [but] I’m  confident in out side and I think we can get the job done.”

The club’s Second XI team also finished second, and will face North Balwyn in their Sunday B Grade semi-final. Although they are coming off losses in their last two starts, the team, captained by Jeremy Hoppe, won 60 per cent of their matches this season, and have several key players in good form, including batsman Eytan Epstein and economical bowler Marley Israel.

“It’s an amazing feeling for us, to go from bottom of the table the year before – I’m very proud of the boys for all their endeavours,” Hoppe said. “We’re a massive chance, if we play to our strengths, to win the flag.”

Zak Pollak, who captains the club’s Third XI which finished fourth on the D (south) Grade ladder, said if his team’s excellent bowling attack remains in form, “we are capable of beating anyone in the comp,” including frontrunners Monash University this Sunday.

“Jamie Hyams and Gilad Meyerowitz have bowled brilliantly all season, Phil Lisovetsky looks unstoppable at the moment, and with the bat, Ari Fell can have a big influence.”

In more good news for Jewish cricket, three Maccabi-AJAX Junior Cricket Club (MAJCC) teams have qualified for this Sunday morning’s semis in the Inner South East Cricket competition.

The Maccabi-AJAX U13 Colts will play against Mackie in B division, the U13 Chargers will take on Malvern Junior in A division, and the U15 Titans will face Malvern Junior in A division.

Club spokesperson Daniel Lowinger said, “This season, four of our players – Nathan Cohen, Gilad Lowinger, Jonty Israel and Benjamin Cohen – won individual awards for being top in batting and bowling in their age divisions – a first for MAJCC.

“We’re delighted with the progress of the club – our investment in coaching is certainly starting to reap the benefits we expected.”

Shane Desiatnik