MIT cricket team battles it out in Ivy matches

Cricket team earns a win over Yale, but loses hard-fought match against Harvard

MIT’s cricket team traveled to New Haven to take on Yale for the first time in their campaign this season. The conditions at New Haven were very different from conditions in the grounds that the team has gotten accustomed to. The prospects of a low-scoring game due to a wet outfield and slow, low pitch definitely dampened the spirits of the team. Winning a crucial toss, the Engineers decided to use the wet conditions to put pressure on the opposition, hoping the warm weather would bake the pitch and dry out the field by the time it was their turn to bat.

Tughral Ali G and Sivaraman Ramaswamy G opened the bowling for MIT and were among the wickets immediately. They snagged 5 wickets total — 2 for Tughral and 3 for Sivaraman — as they hastened the departure of Yale’s top order for a meagre 20 runs. Yale’s middle and low order failed to apply themselves on a tricky wicket and collapsed to a record low 33 all out in 12 overs. Usman Ayyaz ’16 (3 wickets) and Neev Wanvari G (2 wickets) shared the remaining 5 scalps. The low total was easily surmounted by the MIT batsmen in 10 overs with 6 wickets to spare. Arsalan Adil G anchored the innings with a hard-fought 12 runs of 28 balls.

On the May 4, MIT challenged crosstown rivals Harvard in a home game at the Roberts Field. Moods were upbeat after their comprehensive victory over Harvard earlier this season. Winning the toss for the second consecutive time, captain Priyank Kumar G put the opposition in to bat. Harvard’s openers Ibrahim and Nikhil, played watchfully to see off the opening threat posed by Tughral Ali G and Savithru Jayasinghe G.

MIT had forced a tight lid on the run flow but the lack of wickets meant Harvard gained a strong platform from which to launch an assault. After being 72 for no loss at the midway mark, Harvard was led to a competitive 185 for the loss of two wickets by their captain Manik Kuchroo. Saad Shoukat ’15 and Jehangir Amjad G were among the wickets for the Engineers. In their batting reply, MIT quickly lost Sourav Padhy G in the first over but consolidated with a strong partnership between Priyank Kumar G (23 runs of 23 balls) and Fahad Mahmood G (43 runs of 29 balls).

At 60 for the loss of one wicket, MIT looked to be in a good position to take the game when Harvard turned the tables by snagging five quick wickets within the span of 50 runs. MIT was staring down at defeat at 110 for 8 when Usman Naseer G (27 of 19) and Saad Shoukat (27 of 12) fought back doggedly, piling up 56 runs for the 9th wicket to bring MIT close to the brink of victory. MIT lost by a margin of 18 runs in a closely fought contest. Overall, the Engineers retained their top spot in the league with a big margin over Boston University, who are currently in second place.