Israel stun Cuba 4-1 in World Baseball Classic

Israeli infielder Ike Davis (right) is congratulated by his teammate Blake Gailen after arriving at the home plate by a double of catcher Ryan Lavarnway during their World Baseball Classic Pool match in Tokyo on March 12, 2017

Israel again pulled of a major upset Sunday, beating mighty Cuba 4-1 in the second round opener at the World Baseball Classic to continue its undefeated campaign.

After battering South Korea, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands in the first round, Israel came from behind to stage another giant-killing in front of 43,153 spectators at Tokyo Dome.

Cuba seemed to have grabbed an upper hand when Alfredo Despaigne nailed a home run in the top of the second inning.

But Israel's Ryan Lavarnway equalised in the fourth inning with a double, before Zach Borenstein's single on the bottom in the sixth inning made it 2-1.

It was quickly followed by Blake Gailen, who fired a double to make it 3-1.

Gailen hit a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the eighth to seal Israel's victory.

Israel will now face the Netherlands and Japan in the other second-round games.

The nation's unexpected efforts have surprised baseball fans around the world and at home where the sport is played by only around 1,000 people.

Most of the team are American Jews and do not usually play in Israel.

The tournament concludes with the final at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, on March 22.