By Dyon Ravello
The “Cage,” Baisley Cricket Park at Foch Boulevard, played host to one of the four groups during the American College Cricket, North Eastern Conference played on October 5th. Boston University, Penn State and New Jersey Institute of Technology, squared off for the right to a semifinal berth.
Game I: Boston won the toss and took first strike against Penn State. Sayad Shabbar 25 and captain Hayat Khan 22 provided the platform, as the Terriers were restricted to 122 in 16.2 overs. Penn State were led by skipper Chirag Methani 2/14, Saurav Mandal 2/18 and Vidulan Surendran 2/22.
Penn State were in no mood to release the pressure as they responded with a 62 run opening stand. Methani followed up his exploits with the ball with a well-crafted knock, which yielded 36. Rohit Reddy who had three catches in the field, performed the perfect finisher role as he contributed 42 of an unbeaten 58 run fourth wicket stand to complete a commanding seven wicket win with 32 deliveries to spare.
Game II: Boston needed to win to stay alive as they faced NJIT. Khan won the toss and took strike like he did against Penn. Only the Khan with 27 offered any resistance as the Terriers wilted to 75 all out in 13.4 overs. Seamer Tej Patel 3/18, Raj Bhavsar 4/9 and Vishi Bhabra 2/0 were responsible for the wreckage.
For NJIT openers Vixar and Bhavsar added 41 from 19 balls to set the tempo. Bhavsar completed the rout smashing four boundaries and five towering sixes in an unbeaten innings of 48. NJIT eliminated Boston with a superfluous nine-wicket victory, 80/1 in just 5 overs at a sweltering rate of 16 runs per over.
Game III: With Boston on the way north along the I-95, Penn State and NJIT met in the virtual quarterfinal. NJIT batted first and continued in the same vain with Vixar 21 and Bhavsar 32 as the card read 78 at the end of the fifth over. Following the early blitzkrieg only a cameo of 28 by Tej Patel boosted NJIT to 190/8. NJIT scored 112 runs off the last 15 overs at 7.47 per over compare to 15.6 earlier. For Penn, Surendran, Suyash Agrawal, Mehtani, Mandal, Rishab Jain, Reddy and Hisan Mir had a wicket each.
Vixar struck two early wickets as Pervez had one of his own to strangle Penn at 12/3 after the second over. Penn State not daunted by the imposing target as they maintained a run rate near and around the target. Reddy lead the charge with another cameo, as Jain looked to make a name for himself as well. Reddy fell to Bhavsar going for a third consecutive whip, Prem taking a skier at point.
Suredran and Mir combined to rally Penn as they kept their side in the hunt. Mir turned up the heat as he thumped Pervez to long on for a boundary and then followed up with a fencer. But Pervez has the last say as he worked the timber, Mir with a valuable 27. Surendran looked to be the last salvo but when he was caught in the cover off Prem’s only over for a topscore of 39 the rest were mere formalities. Both Vivar and Pervez with 2/29 as NJIT held their nerve to complete a narrow 11 wicket win to advance.
Dyon Ravello is a journalist based in New York, with experiences in coaching, umpiring, and administration.