Rutgers wins 2018 American College Cricket National Championship

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie, right, presents an honorary degree to novelist Sir Salman Rushdie during a ceremony at the IU Auditorium on Thursday, March 29, 2018. University Grand Marshal Brian Horne, left, assists with the hooding.

Rutgers University’s cricket team claimed the Shiv Chanderpaul Trophy by winning the 2018 American College Cricket National Championship against the University of South Alabama. The final game was held on April 2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where Rutgers won the toss and elected to bowl first.

South Alabama won the toss and decided to bowl as brilliant sunshine lit up CBRP Cricket Stadium and SONY’s cameras eagerly awaited action. Ryerson was the defending champion but South Alabama had not been this far before as the old Conway Twitty song said. Hassan Khan had performed well for Ryerson in the past, a hard hitting batsman but this time he went for a duck, lbw to Sujal Patel on his 2nd ball.

Jean Paul Rocke came to the wicket and kept getting beaten by the bowling, despite the form he had shown the previous day smashing 97 vs NJIT but he held on for 36 eventually. Bilal Khan however was ablaze at the other end and his 31 included 2 sixes and 2 fours in 17 balls before being out at 41 at 6.3 overs. Talha Kirmani played some glorious shots that delighted the commentators and spectators whilst striking 6 fours in his 47* as he took Ryerson to 144 for 8 in their 20 overs. Varun Bellide took 3 for 25, Neel Patel 2 for 25.

Neel continued his MVP performance with 56 off 44 balls, with 5 fours and 3 sixes as he took the Jaguars to 119, close to the target before being out, but by then with 20 balls to get 26 runs South Alabama was ‘Sailing’ as Rod Stewart sings. Kinal Patel 368 and Uzair Javed 108 took it home in 17.1 overs. The consistent Sujal Patel had an amazing innings of 38 in 21 balls with 5 sixes as South Alabama got to their first Finals in a National or Regional championship in their 6 years.

According to cricketworld.com, after hitting 33 runs in five overs, South Alabama lost three wickets for five runs. A brief recovery partnership of 32 between Kinal Patel (17) and Amjad Muhammad (15) brought them up to 70 but Hassaan Wajeeh’s spin and Junaid Chaudhry ultimately brought them down with 82 all out.

Wajeeh got a four for seven, while Chaudhry took a four for 25, with two wickets for 12 for Anil Kumar, according to an American College Cricket press release. Haider Ali (34) and Chaudhry (32) took Rutgers to victory as they won by 7 wickets in 13.3 overs.

Rutgers had made it to the finals in 2016 but ultimately lost against the University of South Florida but this year they beat the University of Florida, Virginia Tech, the University of Texas Dallas and the University of South Florida, losing to only MIT.

According to American College Cricket, Rutgers was part of the original teams that formed in March 2009 and only began competing very recently as they weren’t allowed to travel and though they made it to the 2010 nationals and won the 2010 North East regional, they were always overshadowed by Toronto’s Ryerson University.

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