With the memories of a narrowly clinched win at last year’s game against Middlebury, Dartmouth, fielding a brand new team, made its way to the Peter Kohn Field on a warm spring day that was long overdue.
Missing our usual captain Chris Scholtz, Jay Sanyal served as stand-in captain for the day’s play. Upon winning the toss, Jay elected to bat and opted for what seemed a sure-fire opening combination in himself and Amitavo. Despite some good opening bowling from Owais Gilani and Akshay Khanna on a bouncy track reminiscent of Sabina Park, Jay and Amitavo immediately showed their intent with some lovely 4s to the boundary at point and efficiently rotated the strike between them. The introduction of the legspinner Hasib, stemmed the flow of runs until Jay opened up to loft one over the long-on boundary for 6. Hasib had the final say when the next delivery cramped Jay who hit his wicket, score 58-1 in the 8th over.
Sumit and Amitavo took the attack to the bowlers, with Sumit scoring a useful 28 from 18, lucky to survive two dropped chances. Amitavo meanwhile, continued gathering his runs in his typical nonchalant manner. Govind and Harsha fell cheaply leaving the score on 149-4 in the 21st over. Middlebury would have felt that they had the upper hand but with 10 overs left to go, the new batsman, Apurva, decided it was now or never. Bludgeoning shots around every corner of the field at more than 10 runs an over, he and Amitavo added 84 from 47 for the 5th wicket. Amit fell scoring 89 (91) leaving Apurva to continue the run fest. His final score was 72(32), n.o. giving Dartmouth 253/6 after their allotted 30 overs
In their reply, Middlebury’s openers showed aggression, hitting loose balls for four and stealing 1s and 2s whenever possible. Going at 10 runs an over, their opening pair weathered the bowling attack of Omar and Apurva, scoring 86 in the first 8 overs, well ahead of Dartmouth’s comparative score at this stage. Aman and Owais rapidly accumulated their scores of 33 and 41 respectively, but Dartmouth’s legspinner would provide the breakthroughs of the day. Vijayasri varied his speed, flight and spin to snap up three quick wickets leaving Middlebury reeling on 115/3 after 13 overs, a score from which they would never recover. Two superb catches by Omar and overall good fielding helped restrict their batsmen but the contribution of extras from Dartmouth bowling’s would tell a different story for the Middlebury batting innings, boosting their total beyond what was expected.
In the end, the opposition could only manage 210/8 in 30 overs. A good first outing for the Dartmouth squad only helped fuel the enthusiasm for future games as they look to outshine their performance last year.
Today's date: Saturday, February 25th 2017.