It was the Fall Semester in 2010, and, after 1 and a half years of work, I finally was able to motivate the (new) executive of the Gators Cricket Club to begin playing with the “season ball”. Uncertainly they agreed, and said they would be ready for the 2012 Championship ( another year & a half later !).
But I challenged them to participate in the 2010 Southeast regionals and they did, led by Club President Krishnaro Dase !
American College Cricket assisted the Club in getting equipment. With very little practice, they played well and, resplendent in uniforms, reached the Finals where they put up a fight before losing to Auburn !
The Auburn club, led by Rahul Potghan and Naveen Thiagarajan, had itself become official for the 2010 American College Cricket Spring Break Championship, when the Auburn admin conferred official status on the club, because it was about to play in the national championship. Now after 3 roadtrips to Ft Lauderdale, the Auburn team was finally able to buy new uniforms and fly !
Now its Nov 2011, and on the beautiful cricket fields of Ft Lauderdale, Auburn and UF do battle again !
The University of Florida Gators batted first, Vijay Pappu and Hassan Baber opening the batting. The Tigers’ bowlers were not effective, and Pappu and Baber put on 40 runs before Baber was caught off Vibudh for 24 ( 1 four,3 sixes).
However, in walked the dangerous Ricky Nayer who, in 2010, had made a magnificent 64 to almost win the title for UF ! After 15 overs it was 95 for 1, as the Auburn bowlers,especially Vibudh & Vijith kept the pressure on.
Then Nayar turned it on, and brought up his 50 with a six, followed by another. His 58* (455 balls) included 4 fours & 3 sixes, whilst Pappu was run out at the end for 49 (3 four & 1 six in 60 balls).
Nayar & Pappu put on 97 and the UF Gators reached a good total of 149 for in 20. Vibudh finished with 4 overs for 18 runs & 1 wicket, and Vijith 3 overs for 17.
Needing a run rate of 7.5 to win Auburn’s openers, captain Naveen Thiagarajan and Prassana, both in form, Naveen having struck 59 vs FAU, and Prassana 64 ( 7 fours & 4 sixes) vs USF.
Auburn was going along steadily before Anuj, who took 3 wickets for 2 runs vs USF, struck for UF getting Prassana caught for 13, and Auburn was 43 for 1 in the 7 th over.
After 10 Auburn was in a great poition on 70 for 1, with Naveen and Shakti going strong. Some great fielding slowed the scoring rate and led to 2 quick run outs, Shakti for 28 ( 2 fours 1 six, 20 balls) and Faraz for 0, making Auburn 102 for 3 after 15.( Gators were 95 for 1 after 15).
Aditya Kasi then took the prize wicket of Thiagarajan for 50 ( 50 balls, 8 fours) and Auburn was now 110 for 4 after 17 . Syam and Vibudh tried to go after the bowlers but eventually the Gators, led by Vijay Pappu got the win by 16 runs !
In the tournament Auburn captain Naveen Thiagarajan made 2 half centuries, 59 and 50 plus featured in a 93 run partnership, of which he made 19. Prassana made a 64, but Championship MVP was definitely Gators’ Ricky Nayar- 2 game winning innings of 25* and 58* and bowling of 2 for 10, and 3 for 15 plus his wicketkeeping !
With this win of the South East Conference Championship the Gators Cricket Club will soar in the rankings, and now can now utilise this victory to motivate the University of Florida to provide a cricket field – which would greatly help the club bring a national title to UF !
University of Florida (USF) vs Florida Atlantic University (FAU) .
USF and FAU played a game that had implications for national ranking.
For FAU Stefan Babulal smashed 76 (8 fours 3 sixes)- Babulal is the name the legendary Rohan Kanhai, one of the world’s greatest batsman ever, was known by !
Lakitosh contributed 32 (3 fours & 1 six), as FAU made 129 for 6 in their 20 overs. Arjun took 2 wickets for 20 in 3, and Prashant Pal 1 for 14 in 4 overs.
For USF, Anshul’s 46* ( 6 fours 1 six), Viral 33 (3 fours 2 sixes) & opener Abhay (2 fours 1 six) gave USF the victory – 130 for 5 in 17.4 overs.
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