It is unclear if the Maccabiah archives include cricket statistics, but if there were it is a safe guess the records would have been broken one after the other at Lod today. Israel's total of 391 for 7 is surely the highest in a Maccabiah innings; the winning margin of 325 runs is surely the largest margin of victory in a Maccabiah match; and Danny Malyankar's score of 185 not out is surely the highest individual score by a batsman in Maccabiah history.
As far as mismatches go this was as one sided as it can get. The Canadians, fielding a cricket team for the first time in the Maccabiah, deserve gold just for getting their team onto the field, having overcome many obstacles to secure their participation. Although they put up a credible performance in their opening defeat to Australia, today they were clearly out of their depth. And they had the misfortune of running into one of the more destructive batsman in Israeli cricket at his very best.
Having won the toss Israel had no hesitation in asking their opponents to field first. It has been a mild summer so far, but that's not to say it has not been hot, and whilst the grounds in Tel Aviv and Ashdod have a breeze off the sea, their is no respite from the sun in Lod. Fielding for 50 overs in Lod is not for the fainthearted. Fielding for 50 overs and being hit for 391 runs, that's as torturous as sport can be.
Malyankar had shown good form against India on Friday, top scoring with 27. With Dovi Myers out injured, versatile wicket keeper Shailesh Bangerra was promoted to open along with him. The two made a solid start, adding 63 before Bangerra was controversially given out, adjudged run out charging the bowler on a free hit in what would have been an interesting one for a referral if DRS was being used. Further useful partnerships came between Malyankar, whose cautious start gave no clues as to the mayhem that was to follow, and Itamar Kehimkar (20), Josh Evans (24), and Eshkol Solomon (21) of 55, 51 and 48 respectively. The real impetus however came in a sixth wicket stand of 97 between Malyankar and debutant Matan Razpurker, who scored an aggressive 44 including seven boundaries. And as the Canadians tired, the last 7 overs yielded a further 60 runs, Malyankar getting into top gear and Nir Dokarkar (29) enjoying the chance for some time in the middle as well, taking the score up to 391 for seven.
In an innings described as Israel team manager Steve Leigh as 'belligerent", Malyankar hit 21 fours, four sixes and even one five. His 185 came off 136 balls faced. Batting for over four hours, through the innings, is an achievement in itself. His almost comical refusal of a single down to long off late in the innings was an indication of his exhaustion.
If Canada thought the worst was over after their time in the field, being reduced to zero for one was a quick reminder they had to still endure further challenges with the bat. Shifron Waskar bowled a very impressive opening spell, taking three for 12 in seven overs as the Canadians were reduced to 22 for three. An 18-run stand between Gabriel Chordekar (16) and Rafael Samson (15) was the highest of the innings, but once both were out the rest folded pretty quickly. Leg spinner Evans returned the almost unbelievable figures of three for one in 5.4 overs, with Matt Hoffman (two for 16), Raymond Aston (one for five) and Solomon (one for four) sharing the remaining wickets as Canada folded for 66.
The Canadians will need to pick themselves up for possible even sterner challenges ahead with matches against South Africa, India and Great Britain to come. Israel meanwhile, cannot marvel in their efforts, and especially those of Malyankar, for too long, as a crucial match against Great Britain awaits on Tuesday.