MIT’s cricket team locked horns with Babson College in an away game at Babson Park, Massachusetts on Sunday, April 27. Much was at stake for the Engineers, as a win would take them to pole position in the American College Cricket League. Overcast skies and a damp outfield welcomed MIT, on what appeared to be favorable conditions for bowling.
Captain Priyank Kumar G lost the toss and was put into bat by opposition captain Harnaresh Singh. Openers Fahad Mahmood G and Sourav Padhy walked to open MIT’s proceedings. Playing the ball on merit, they gave MIT a solid start and calmed initial nerves. Nabeel Khan of Babson claimed his first scalp in the sixth over, with the score at 39 runs for the loss of 1 wicket.
Priyank Kumar G joined Fahad Mahmood at the crease and the two batsmen put on 60 runs for the second wicket when the skipper was dismissed for 11. What followed was a masterful batting display by opener Fahad Mahmood. He flayed the bowling to all corners of the ground with consummate skill and became the first centurion for MIT. His innings of 169 of 74 balls at a strike rate of 228 percent became the highest ever individual score for a batsman in the history of the American College Cricket League. It included 17 sixes and 14 fours.
The Babson bowlers were stifled, as anything short was cut away over point, and anything full was driven over the top. He shared a partnership of 185 runs in 10 overs with Koustuban Ravi G, who scored 35 of 23 balls. MIT finished with a score of 284 for the loss of 2 wickets in their allocated 20 overs.
Faced with a stiff task of chasing 285 in their allocated 20 overs, Babson had to contend with the furious pace of Tughral Ali G and seam bowling of Sivaraman Ramaswamy G. Tughral Ali claimed his first wicket in his second over, leaving Babson reeling at 25 runs for the loss of 1 wicket. Babson’s captain Harnaresh Singh led the fight against the opposition with beautiful strokes, but their progress was halted by Vice Captain Jehangir Amjad G in the ninth over.
Mohit Kansal G and Saad Shoukat ’14 created many chances with their bowling, but Babson survived the next 3 overs without the loss of further wickets. Babson’s skipper Harnaresh Singh was then dismissed by MIT spinner Usman Naseer G via a brilliant high catch by Jehangir Amjad for a solid 53 runs of 39 balls. With the asking rate beyond 20 runs an over, Babson were now well out of the game.
In an attempt to score more quickly, they lost two more quick wickets to the bowling of Usman Naseer. One of the wickets was due to an improbable diving catch by Saad Shoukat. Seamer Neev Wanvari ‘G got two wickets in his return spell. Babson finished at 188 for 7 of their 20 overs, giving MIT a massive 96-run victory to take them to the top of the league tables. MIT will play Yale and Harvard in a double bill on May 3 and 4 before they break for finals.