This was perhaps the most lopsided victory for Dartmouth against a team, which traditionally has been on equal footing with Dartmouth in terms of quality and intensity of the games between them. Taking nothing away from either of the teams, Dartmouth was able to perform both with the bat and ball, and the collective team performance ultimately shone through, and Amitavo had one more win under his belt as the captain of the Dartmouth College Cricket Club.
The last game of the 2008 season was anticipated for a long time for a number of reasons. Due to prevailing weather conditions in New England and team availability it was close to a month since we had played competitively. Also, Middlebury College has been the favorite hunting ground for the Dartmouth College Cricket Club. With facilities very similar to that of Dartmouth’s own, Dartmouth has strung together some impressive victories in recent times playing at Middlebury.
The Dartmouth team for the day was led by Amitavo, and had a good balance of veterans and rookies who hadn’t had much match experience and were eager to prove themselves on a field with a fast outfield and true bounce. The Middlebury team also had few veterans, but due to graduation turnovers, sported many new faces
The game started auspiciously with Dartmouth winning the toss, and Amitavo promptly elected to bat first given the nature of the track and the form of the batsmen in the team. The Dartmouth team knew that if they could survive the opening bowlers, the lack of depth of Middlebury in the bowling department will be exposed, and it will be a run fest.
Govind was promoted to the spot of opening batsman based on his continued improvement in practices and previous games where he has showed constant application and improvement. Joining him for his first game of the season was Warren. Things didn’t start off smoothly for Dartmouth as Warren fell cheaply in one figure playing on a ball onto his stumps when he failed to anticipate the bounce as the ball skidded and hurried onto him. Next in was Prince, known for his raw explosive hitting power who can taking any frontline bowler to the cleaners with disdain. After a couple of lusty shots, Prince got out to a full toss, trying to flick it to leg side. The next batsman in was the captain himself Amitavo. While Amitavo sought to settle down while punishing the loose balls, Govind who was well settled by now was keeping the scoreboard ticking with some intelligent shots and highlight reel worthy shots. Govind would go onto score 97 odd runs, narrowly missing a well-deserved century, what would have been his first while his tenure at Dartmouth. Amitavo, continuing with his consistent run production throughout the season, went on to score 125 with a strike rate well above 100, and effectively put Dartmouth in a commanding position. He finally fell to fatigue and a tired shot when he holed out to the fielder in the long off, but by then the damage was done, and the foundation set to take full advantage of the slog overs. Between Omar, Yash, and Apurva, Dartmouth amassed it highest ever 30 over total, a grand total of 345.
Middlebury came in knowing they had to score at more than 10 an over to have any chance of hopes of a victory. It was always going to be a tall order, and Dartmouth wasn’t going to make it any easier for them. Dartmouth bowling was spearheaded by Omar and Apurva, couple of the finest proponents of new ball bowling in the recent history of Dartmouth. While they were unlucky to take any wickets early on, they were for most part unplayable. Apurva’s balls were begging to be edged, but it was perhaps the bowling gods or the luck of the bastmen that he went wicketless. Omar kept up the pressure on the other side, and was rewarded with the wicket by one of their most dangerous batsman when a skier was caught by Amitavo at long off.
After a great first spell, Amitavo brought in Warren and himself to bowl the middle overs, before Prince was introduced. Bowling Warren and Amitavo yielded unexpected dividends. Warren (3 wickets) with his slow spin, and Amitavo (4 wickets) with his off cutters picked up 7 wickets between them, which effectively nullified any chances Middlebury had of pulling out a win. Dartmouth fielding was above par for most of the game, with Govind doing a stellar job behind the wickets worthy of attention.
Today's date: Thursday, January 19th 2017.