By Lloyd Jodah
Nearly every throw hit the stumps in an astounding display of fielding by the College Champions Montgomery as they took on an American College Cricket Allstars XI at Baisley Pond Park.
Billal Razzaq (George Mason U) got stopped by airport security in Virginia, missed his flight but that didn't let that prevent him from playing in this game. Sumantro Das (Boston U) and Jaideep Reddy (U Mass), Shaan Mehta (George Washington U) also came to join USA players Akeem Dodson (York) , Andy Aza Mohammed (TCI) and Regis Burton (SUNY) together with Dwayne Smith (City Tech), Saud Hossein (Vaughn), Chaitnath Khilawan (Brooklyn College) and Hugo D'Oliveira (York).
Akeem Dodson and Andy Mohammed, two of the best young batsmen in the US opened the battting for the Allstars in overcast and windy conditions. Dodson scored 100* a few weeks ago when he played here and right away clipped one beautifully off his hip through square leg for 4.
Pic (Right): Adil Bhatti, Captain of Montgomery College [Picture courtesy: NewYorkCricket.com]
But Suchit Laheri kept it tight at one end whilst Montgomery Captain Adil Bhatti showed why he's one of the top young allrounders in the country by moving the ball through the air, and into Andy Aza Mohammed for an easy LBW decision. Akeem Dodson soon followed to another inswinger from Bhatti and suddenly Montgomery had the upper hand.
Ankit Sehgal was second in the batting averages in the Washington Cricket League and statistically the top allrounder, so it was no surprise that his spin was effective. Smith (City Tech) and Hossein (Vaughn) briefly looked good before Tahir Chaudhry and Sehgal dismissed them. The batsmen were restricted to singles many times instead of twos because the Montgomery fielders appeared to be mutant fielders - hitting the stumps just about every time they threw.
Khilawan was run out by a laser throw from Bhatti. The Allstars were reeling at 86 for 6 with Regis Burton, the USA Under-19 star who is also a USA senior probable on 15 when Jaideep Reddy came to the wicket. Burton drove over midwicket for 6 and looked in good form before getting caught off Wali Syed, who was bowling fast yorkers.
Reddy played himself in and then in the 24th over he hooked over square leg for 4, and ondrove for 6. He took 19 off the 25th over with a 6,4,and 4. Then Ashgar made one of the many unerring throws by Montgomery to destroy the stumps and run out Reddy for 42 (4 fours, 2 sixes). D'Oliveira was the 3rd run out by the mutant men of Montgomery leaving Razzaq on 2* for the College Allstars to finish with a respectable 170 runs off 30 overs.
The stylish Danish Ashgar and hardhitting Sadiq "Hulk" Naseer took strike against the fiery Sumantro Das. Das started with a bouncer to Ashgar and as Naseer said bowled "very fast" - he was timed at the Madan Lal Training Camp in India at 84 mph but has not bowled since August.
But Ashgar is a strokeplayer in the great Zaheer Abbas vein. His swirling blade sent the ball to square leg, point, midwicket, cover punishing Das and D'Oliveira in particular, who was off line. Naseer hit the ball hard overhead for 6 followed by well placed shots in between point and cover going LBW for 25 to Reddy, then Shaan Mehta clean bowled the dazzling Ashgar for 31 (1 six, 3 fours).
Montgomery - The American College Champions
Andy Mohammed came on with his left arm spin and bowled tightly but Wali Syed punished Burton's short balls before Das took a blistering catch off Razzaq to get rid of Syed 30 (2 sixes, 2 fours). Jaideep Reddy was the top wicket taker in the Massachusetts Cricket League this season and he showed why - his medium pace was effective and he sent back the dangerous Sehgal.
Umair Dasti (25*) was batting steadily when mystifyingly, in what turned out to be an astute piece of captaincy, Bhatti came late in the order at 128 for 5. It was still a tight game. Bhatti was having none of it though, he took command with an imperious confidence. A step and a beautiful cover drive for 4, followed by straight drives for 6 and 4. Bhatti scored 31* (1 six, 4 fours) out of 42 runs put the game away for Montgomery with nearly 2 overs to spare.
All Stars Team
The last time Aamir Chaudhry was in NY, he had the pleasure getting pulled onstage by the lovely Tanushra Dutta to dance at a Bollywood show but this trip he did not even get to bat, nevertheless he was ecstatic with the victory. Jaideep Reddy was all smiles, "I enjoyed playing the game,even though we lost" . Bilal Razzaq said,"This is one of the best games I've played in - meeting the guys was great." whilst Das' parents shared tasty samosas.
Later congrats came from American College Cricket VP Nino DiLoreto whilst challenges poured in, including from Rahul Potghan, Captain of Auburn U who sent word "We look forward to playing against Montgomery soon." Tarun Sandhu, the USC Trojans Captain said "We can't wait to play Montgomery in the 2010 American College Cricket Championship ."
Adil Bhatti was named the Man of the Match by Bassett Thompson (Commssioner of the NYC High School Cricket League).
Next College Game: Nov 7th - Penn State vs Rutgers @ Baisley Pond Park.
For info Contact Lloyd Jodah 718 751 6117
College Allstars 170 all out (30 overs)
Jaideep Reddy 42
Regis Burton 23
Akeem Dodson 16
Adil Bhatti 2 W,6 O, 24 R
Aamirr Chaudhry 1 W,6 O, 20 R
Tahir Chaudry 2 W,3 O, 14 R
Montgomery College 171 for 5 (28.1overs)
Adil Bhatti 31*
Danish Ashgar 31
Wali Syed 30
Umair Dasti 25*
Sadiq Naseer 25
Jaideep Reddy 3 W,6 O, 27 R
Bilal Razzaq 1 W,3 O, 19 R
Shaan Mehta 1 W,3 O, 20 R