USF vs Rutgers Match Report | American College Cricket National Semis
USF comes into any American College Cricket Championship, regional or National, as one of the favorites. Their record of making the Final Four at Nationals in 9 out of 10 times, and winning the past 5 South East C'ship in a row explains a lot.
Rutgers has been a strong team since they joined American College Cricket in 2009, and played in the first college game in CBRP Stadium in March 2010, however it took until 2016 to get to Nationals Finals, where they lost to the USF Bulls !
The 2 teams faced off on SONY, a broadcast presented by SLING TV on Sunday March 25, so viewers were able to watch on their phones, laptops as well as TV. With scoring and graphics by Cricclubs fans were in for a treat ! The pitch was prepared by Curator Milton Taylor, and in a unique partnership University of Sydney had sent one of their Assistant Curators, Alex Gill, to help.
Rutgers Captain Hassaan Wajeeh, one of 3 brothers on the team, won the toss and decided to bowl, on a wicket that looked helpful to bowlers but good for batting too. The weather was glorious, with bright sunshine, despite the early start. USF openers Naseer Khan & Babar Arshad played watchfully but dispatched the errant balls, and had 40 runs before Arshad went for 21 at 4.5 overs.
A very good start, but then the collapse began and never stopped, Naseer Khan for 23, Abhishek Yadav for 25 & Abdullah Sheik 19 were the only other batsmen to offer resistance as Hassan took 3 quick wickets with excellent spin bowling to finish with 4 for 22 as South Florida fell for what may be their lowest total ever, 97 in 15.1 overs. Too often their batsmen went on the backfoot to the spinners & paid the price, including being struck lbw in front of the wicket, 4 tail enders went for ducks. Aniket Anilkumar took 2 wickets for 1 run.
USF has been known to fight back & defend any total and so it was that they had Rutgers 31 for 4 after 5.5 overs but then Malik Sohail 24 & Hamza Wajeeh took the score to 69 when they both fell, but then Farhan Naqvi struck 2 sixes & a 4 in his 21* and Kamran Kamal's 10* saw Rutgers home to victory & a place in the Finals ! Babar Arshad bowled well & took 3 for 11 but USF needed more runs on the board.
To many it was a shock to see South Florida lose with their batting giving them little chance but on the other hand Rutgers had been a good team every year, and had extra motivation in getting revenge for their loss to Rutgers in the 2016 Finals.
The 2nd Semi Final will be shown on Saturday Mar 30 at 4 pm on SONY.HD then the Finals on Sunday Mar 31 at 4 pm. Viewers in the US can watch on their phones, laptops, ipads or TVs through SLING TV as American College Cricket continues to lead the way in broadcasting the game in the United States.