A cricket club was started by William "Rotch" Wister in 1842 at the University of Pennsylvania. Wister also began the Philadelphia Cricket Club, and with the Newhalls, the Germantown Cricket Club. A club was begun at Princeton in 1858 and one at Harvard in 1862.
A cricket club was formed at Cornell in 1903 (though there might have been one there before) and Cornell played Harvard for the first time in 1904. Harvard and Penn entered the American College Cricket Ivy League Championship with a history of cricket rivalry, though Penn seems to have been the stronger historically.
The Philadelphia Cricket Club, established in 1854 and in its current location from 1883, is the Lord’s of America - a treasure of American history, where the spirits of our early cricketers like John Bart King, George Wright, and George Patterson played what was the original American pastime - cricket!
American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah reflected, "When I’m at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, I often just sit, think about, and imagine the cricket characters and history that took place here.
"It's a really special place for me. With this Ivy League Championship we're honouring my brother who died in January 2013, by playing for the Colin M. Jodah Trophy.
"Colin contributed a lot to American College Cricket."
So when Cornell faced off against Penn in the first ever Ivy League Championship for cricket (sponsored by Coca Cola, with supporting sponsor Dish Network and covered by TV Asia), it was more than a cricket game.
CORNELL vs University of PENNSYLVANIA
Cornell University batted first, and with the dewy outfield found scoring difficult. Sinha Roy (22) and A Gupta (14) were the main scorers, getting only one boundary each, on the beautiful but damp outfield. Gavish Sharma took two for seven as the Cornell Bears made 79 in 20 overs.
Veteran Gavish Sharma, a Wharton graduate playing as an alum, and Ruben Abraham batted sensibly to overhaul the Bears’ total without losing a wicket. Sharma’s 37 not out came off 36 balls with five fours; Abraham’s unbeaten 38 took 41 balls and included five fours.
Gavish Sharma (Penn) was the game's MVP.
HARVARD vs PRINCETON
Two more pioneering clubs (in US sports history) that were just restarted last year, took the field next to determine who would meet Penn in the Ivy League Finals.
Princeton batted first,and Captain Vaidhy Murti made 24 off 23 balls with four fours, Naman Jain struck 34 in 36 balls with three fours, as Princeton managed to get past the century mark, 107 in 20 overs. Simon Lock took two for 23 while Danny Yetman took two for 17.
Harvard was given a good start by Tyrel Dat (15),and Manik Kuchrooo (22), the openers putting up a partnership of 44.
However, a batting collapse was then engineered by Yogesh Goyal's three for 22. Goyal dismissed the set openers then number three batsman Sher Tareen, who had scored the most for Harvard for the season at this point.
Naman Jain’s two wickets for 17 helped make Harvard 84 for seven and Princeton was heading for an upset, their first victory over Harvard.
Danny Yetman strode confidently to the wicket, and with pulls backward of square, and steers to backward point, Danny struck four fours in his 18 not out to get Harvard to the winning total in 17.1 overs.
An amazing all round performance earned Danny Yetman the game MVP award. Danny only began playing the game a few years ago, mentored by his close friend Norris Guscutt.
FINALS – University of PENNSYLVANIA vs HARVARD
The ghosts of John Bart King, George Patterson, George Wright, William ‘Rotch’ Wister, the Newhalls and other luminaries of American cricket history must have been smiling as the brilliant sunshine heralded the Finals of the first cricket Ivy League Championship – Harvard vs Penn.
Penn’s openers celebrated the occasion by getting off to a rousing start, putting on 89 in 9.2 overs.
Veteran Gavish Sharma made 33 with three fours and a six in 28 balls whilse Ruben Abraham showed a plethora of exquisite shots scoring 78 in 59 balls, piercing the field for nine fours and lofting a six.
Previous club President Jay Dave contributed 18 as Penn set a massive total of 182 for five in their 20 overs. For Harvard Manik Kuchroo took three wickets for 35 runs.
Harvard never threatened the Penn total, with only Sher Tareen getting 30, off 35 balls with three fours. Roshan Rai took two for 16, and Meet Vora two for 20.
Despite good play by Harvard, Princeton & Cornel, the University of Pennsylvania asserted the dominance they enjoyed back in the 1800s and early 1900s over the other Ivy League schools and are the American College Cricket Ivy League Champions.
Penn's Ruben Abraham was declared the Finals MVP, and also the Ivy League Championship MVP.
The Colin M. Jodah Trophy, like other Awards, since 2011, for the Regionals, as well as Home and Away matches, will be presented during the Nationals' Finals in Fort Lauderdale in March.
© Cricket World 2014