MIT cricket bounces back from losses with two wins
Cricket team tops Babson and Boston University
Hurting from the losses against Harvard University, MIT were looking forward to imposing themselves on the Boston University (BU) Terriers on September 20. MIT fielding coach and talisman, Saad Shoukat ’15, had taken the losses seriously and put his charges through a grueling training session which turned out to be the difference between the teams.
BU selected to field first after winning the toss. MIT openers — Fahad Mahmood G and Suyog Shukla G started briskly, putting 35 runs for the first wicket in four overs. At this point Fahad Mahmood G was adjudged LBW, bringing captain Priyank Kumar G to the crease. Suyog and Priyank continued to build the innings, adding 47 runs for the second wicket, putting MIT in a commanding position.
BU clawed back into the game dismissing Suyog, Priyank and Vineet Agrawal G within a span of 5 runs. Vice-captain Usman Ayyaz ’16 and Koustuban Ravi G then prevented an imminent collapse by adding 30 runs for the fifth wicket. In the last five overs, MIT’s batters, led by vice captain Usman Ayyaz, unleashed a ruthless blitzkrieg upon the terriers, taking the team total to a competitive 194/9 in their 20 overs.
BU started their innings well, scoring at a healthy rate of 10 runs per over. BU batsmen Arush Sabharwal and Don Brown were stroking the ball fluently to all corners of the ground when Suyog Shukla G supplied MIT with a moment of brilliance. In two balls, he had both set batsmen out leaving BU’s chase in shambles. After the loss of their kingpins, BU succumbed to an inevitable defeat scoring 122 runs with all MIT bowlers among the wickets.
The following day, on September 21, MIT faced off against Babson. In their previous encounter in the first half of the season, the MIT juggernaut had demolished Babson in a record scoring match. Spirits were running high in the MIT camp as they were eager to attempt to recreate the performance.
Bowling first, Babson exploited the slow pitch at Barry’s field. Enticing MIT’s batsmen, they picked up a flurry of wickets leaving MIT in shambles at 72 for 6 in 10 overs. It certainly looked as if MIT were staring down the barrel, but Usman Naseer G and captain Priyank Kumar G had other ideas. They rebuilt the innings and started to pile up the runs, slowly bringing the game back to balance after a solid 74 run partnership.
After his captain’s knock, Priyank Kumar got out trying to hurry the scoring. Usman Naseer and Jehangir Amjad G continued to pile on the runs as they flayed the fatigued Babson bowlers to all corners of the park. Usman finished with 51 runs and Jehangir scored a blistering 38 runs in 14 balls as they led MIT to 208 runs in their 20 overs.
Babson’s chase was under threat early on due to quick wickets by Koustuban Ravi G and Savithru Jayasinghe G. However, Anurag Jain and Shreyas Gupta of Babson, in a gritty partnership of 64 runs kept Babson in contention right upto the 16th over. In the end, MIT’s total was a little too high for Babson as they finished with 153 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. Good bowling performances by all MIT bowlers near the end was the difference.