The Dartmouth College Cricket Club team arrived at Jordan Field in Cambridge, MA on a beautiful morning on April 28th. Dartmouth Cricket Club was having its first active season in about 3 years with this being the 4th match this year. Still looking for their first win of the season, Dartmouth was all geared up to play Harvard Cricket Club for the first time ever in a T20 match. Compared to Dartmouth’s current team, Harvard was a much more experienced team having recently competed in American College Cricket’s annual tournament in March. First sights of the ground immediately suggested that it was going to be a high scoring match.
Harvard Cricket Club won the toss and with hopes of setting a high target and putting pressure on Dartmouth, chose to bat first. The openers Sher Afghan and Sameer Tyagi took a cautious approach early in the game reaching 15 for no loss in 3 overs. The first breakthrough came for Dartmouth on the first ball of the fourth over bowled by Faizan Kanji when Sameer edged a ball which was caught by Ajay Singh at fine leg. Faizan managed to take another wicket in the same over when the next batsmen Manik Kuchroo also edged a ball which was caught by Shiv Kapur at third man. In the following over bowled by Dartmouth captain Awais Malik, Harvard captain Ibrahim Khan was dismissed on the first ball he faced when he tried to play a shot into the covers but was caught by Faizan in a well-judged catch. The Harvard Cricket Club was now under immense pressure at 19 for the loss of 3 wickets after just 4.2 overs. Opener Sher Afghan and new batsman Arjun Nandkishore re-built the innings steadily and had a brilliant partnership of 128 runs from 86 balls. The next breakthrough came in the 16th over when Raghuveer Parashar bowled Arjun, however it seemed like it was too late. In the following over, Faizan also bowled the new batsman Aun Ansari. After 20 overs, Harvard managed a mammoth target of 204 runs with their star batsmen Sher Afghan scoring 87 runs from 58 balls.
When Dartmouth openers Chris Scholtz and Raghuveer Parashar came out to bat, they had a daunting task of chasing a target of 205 runs in 20 overs in front of them. After a cautious start, they started to break lose a bit and were steadily building a partnership when Chris was out by a soft dismissal when he edged a bouncer to the keeper on Arjun’s bowling in the 5th over. Chris made a steady 21 runs from 25 balls and Dartmouth was at 36 runs after 5 overs. Next came Angad Kapur for Dartmouth. Angad and Raghu built a solid partnership as they both hit frequent boundaries and accelerated the run-rate. This included an over by Aun Ansari in which Angad hit 3 consecutive fours. The partnership was finally broken by the same Aun Ansari who managed to dismiss Raghu in the 10th over. Raghu had played a wonderful inning of 29 runs in 19 balls and at the halfway mark of the innings Dartmouth was at 94 for the loss of 2 wickets. Captain Awais Malik was the next man in who played a quickfire innings of 30 runs in 15 balls including 5 fours and 1 six. When Awais was dismissed by captain Ibrahim in the 14th over, Dartmouth was at 140 runs and it seemed like the target would be easily chased. Next batsmen Prajeet Bajpai and Angad built the innings steadily but were dismissed in succession by Aun Ansari in 2 consecutive balls in the 16th over. With Dartmouth at 157 runs, still needing 48 more to win from 4.1 overs, there was a lot of pressure on both the new batsmen Khizer Hussain and Faizan Kanji to finish things off. What followed then was simply amazing to everyone who witnessed it. As if this pressure was a source of inspiration, Khizer Hussain took it upon himself to finish the game as fast as possible. He whacked the next 2 bowlers Ibrahim and Manik all around the ground taking Dartmouth to victory in just 17.4 overs making 39 runs in just 9 balls in the process!
The celebrations that followed were very suitable for a team that was looking for its first win in its revival season and had finally found it against Ivy-League rivals Harvard. The Dartmouth players finally received the confidence they were looking for having worked hard in practices and matches during the year. With this confidence, Dartmouth Cricket Club looks ahead to the final few matches of the season in the upcoming weeks.
Result: Dartmouth CC beat Harvard CC by 5 wickets
Today's date: Saturday, January 24th 2015.