The 2nd game of the American College Cricket season on TV Asia pitted the New Jersey Insititute of Technology (NJIT) against Ryerson University.
Sure millions were getting hyped over the LSU vs Alabama game, the top 2 ranked teams in college football, but for some of us it was Gametime for college cricket !
Ryerson University had beaten other Canadian colleges, including York University (2010 American College Cricket champions) to make it to the Northeast Championship, whilst NJIT had gone undefeated in the NE Championship to make it to the Semis.
NJIT batted first and got off to a bad start at 12 for 2, but then Vixar Patel held one end whilst opener Chintan Modi attacked the Ryerson pacers, Canadian Under 19 6? 4? Rayan Pathan and Sufian Chaudhary. Modi smashed 3 fours and 2 sixes in making 32 in just 14 balls and elevated NJIT’s scoring rate to nearly 10 runs per over.
Modi and Vixar put on 31 runs, before Pathan got Vixar caught by 6’5 Warren Aaron Rajroop. NJIT captain Prem Bhagavati joined Modi and at the end of the power play, NJIT was 48 for 3.
Pathan took a magnificent diving one handed catch to dismiss Prem off Harsh Desai, who also took the wicket of the rampaging Modi. A superb bouncer got rid of Dharit, who popped up a catch to wicketkeeper Aslam.
A late flurry of 3 fours by Parth Shah in his 19 in 17 balls took NJ Institute of Technology to 116 all out in their 18 overs.
Harsh Desai took 3 wickets for 18 runs in his 4 overs, wrecking the NJIT middle order.
Ryerson started slowly and safely, with openers Farhan Khan,14 and Hassan Zaidi, 12 putting on 24 before Khan was out. At the end of 5, Ryerson was 24 for 1 compared to NJIT’s 48 for 3.
Ryerson’s captain Hasan Mirza came at 3 and watched wicketkeeper Modi brilliantly stump Zaidi for 12, and in the 7th over Ryerson was 37 for 2 – with the NJIT team hyped, and in the game !
24 year old Numan Aslam has a reputation for hitting sixes, and immediately showed his aggressive style. With a stance similar to Shiv Chanderpaul, Numan, with lovely flicks,pulls and hooks made 41 of the 57 run partnership he shared with Hasan Mirza, playing a solid captain’s knock of 16 in 22 balls.
By the time Mirza was out Ryerson was safely within sight of victory. 6’2 all rounder Sufian Chaudhary wrapped the win up with an exquisite square drive and flick, hitting 3 fours in making 20 in 10 balls. Numan finished with 43*, in 30 balls smashing 5 fours and 2 sixes as Ryerson won easily in the 17 th over.
Words like historic and momentous are often overused but truly, TV Asia’s broadcast of American College Cricket was taking the game to an entirely new level,bringing new teams for the worldwide cricket audience to get excited over, and new opportunities for players !
With over 1,000 players now actively competing in American College Cricket in colleges across the USA and Canada,and a developing alumni base of support,plus the increasing financial support of the schools – cricket can now concretely be said to have a chance to reclaim a place in the American and Canadian sports scene.
None of this happens accidently, its by the hard everyday work of American College Cricket in motivating student leaders to see the vision, and the execution of that vision.
As American College Cricket founder Lloyd Jodah says, “Tournaments are just a small visible part of what we do – I’m not interested in players or teams that just show up to play. We work on developing enduring structures and an increased profile for the game.
With American College Cricket now on TV Asia in the USA and Canada, cricket fans all over the world will get new teams to root for. Players can look to get an education whilst playing competitive, visible cricket.”