Rutgers moved into the Finals with a relatively easy victory over U of Maryland College Park. Riken Patel scored 47 as the Scarlet Knights made 145 all out on the last ball. Great bowling by the Rutgers’ captain Hiren Patel, 4 for 37, and Riken 3 for 26 restricted UMCP to 130 for 5 in their first Nationals Final 4 game.
USF meanwhile scored a Duckworth-Lewis win over favorites Drexel. At 141 for 3 in the 14th over, powered by 68 from Faizan Zaidi & 55 from Maeez Veqar, Drexel seemed set to score over 200 but as always USF tightened the screws and restricted Drexel to 175 for 9. Srinivasan took 3 for 15.
Sai Ramesh 83* ensured USF chased down the D/L score in ample time to move into their 5th Finals in 8 years.
Put into bat by USF, Rutgers in their 1st ever National Finals started off magnificently, going about 9 runs an over by the time their lost their 2nd wicket at 101. Then, as they’ve done every time USF clamped down and Rutgers finished with 178 for 4 wickets in 20 overs. Bhargav Patel 45, the dependable M Chaudhary 42, Captain Hiren Patel 39* including 17 in the final over.
Big match winner Sai Ramesh and Naseer Khan waded into Rutgers’ bowling were scoring at 12 runs an over when Khan fell at 78 for 25 runs. Ramesh continued the onslaught before being out for 64 including 11 fours & 1 six. In form wicket keeper Chavalli, who scored 100 in a previous game was joined by Tom Brady lookalike Krunal Bhange who smashed 50* in 25 balls incl 3 sixes and 3 fours to power the Bulls to the win in 17.1 overs !
It was the Bulls’ 2nd National title, having reach the Final four 7 times, and the Finals 5 times. Fitting Abdullah Sheik who has been a top all rounder for the Bulls for the past 4 years was at the wicket for the win ! https://www.crichq.com/#matches/360916/1st_innings
Finals MVP : Vignesh Rg (Bull Club President & injured batsman).
Best Batsman : Sai Ramesh (USF)
Best Bowler : Hiren Patel (Rutgers)
Best Fielder : Hiren Patel (Rutgers)
The USF Bulls were one of the pioneering 5 teams in the 1st American College Cricket National Championship in 2009, and have received deserved recognition at USF including being featured on the school’s Home Page when they won in 2014, and acknowledged at the university’s commencement by USF President Judy Genshaft.
The Rutgers club on the other hand, whilst having a good team over the years, were in fact prevented from being in that first Championship in 2009, as they were not authorized to use the school name. Six years later the struggle was similar, but the spirit and play of the club proved exceptional.