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Penn State Too Good For BMCC In Their Match Up

By Lloyd Jodah 

Oct. 27th, 2009
Penn State University Cricket team drove more than four hours Sunday to play BMCC in New York, and like their well-known Football Team (aka Nittany Lions) the day before, could they go back with a victory?
It was a glorious Autumn day, and the trees ringing Baisley Pond Park field were like jewelry aglow in their colorful hues. Canadian geese politely stayed outside the boundary line, whilst the sun was a welcome intrusion after the week's rain.
Commissioner of the NYC PSAL Cricket League for High Schools Bassett Thompson came to watch some of the students who had graduated from his High School League now play for the first time for a College Team. The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), a college in the City of New York (CUNY) system was fielding a cricket team for the first time - surprising considering the large percentage of its 240, 000 students who come from a cricket background.     

Members of both teams after the game.

In the previous three weeks Arslan Mohammed, an Accounting major at BMCC, had made a lot of calls, put up flyers in his school, and formed a Facebook group to get the players together for the BMCC Team. Arslan said, "I played for DeWitt Clinton in the High School League so when I heard what American College Cricket was doing I told Lloyd I wanted to play. He promised me if I get a team together he would get another College to play us."  The team had no gears but was motivated to borrow bats, pads etc, and it was that Sunday morning that protective cups were purchased.
Traffic delayed the Nitany Lions team so the game got underway as soon as they arrived. Sridar Raganathun of Penn State won the toss and batted first. Arsaln Mohammed and Tasbir Hussain opened the bowling for BMCC and except for wides bowled well. Raganathan leaned back and cracked a four square then walked into one and hit it straight overhead for six, and looked good before he went for 17.
Number three batsman Rahul Sarnobat had played for the Karnatka U 19 team in India but was rusty from having no cricket for a year. Nevertheless the tall Sarnobat exquisitely on-drove, square drove and hooked for boundaries, and went down the wicket for six in his 42 runs (3 fours, 2 sixes). Another trip down the wicket and he didn't quite get hold of the ball and was caught at long-on off Afshan Tahir. Rajesh Gopalan smashed 2 sixes whilst Venkat Ravi played a beauiful cut and the Penn State team looked headed for about 160 before Ravi went to Muznib.
Andre "Rusty" Kirton was re-introduced into the attack. Kirton played for the USA in the Under 19 World Cup in 2006. Like many young players he was getting lost in the shuffle after his Under 19 career was over so he jumped at the opportunity to play College Cricket, as he put it "Now that I'm involved, Montgomery won't be keeping the Chanderpaul Trophy ". Kirton's left-arm spin was difficult to handle and he quickly took 3 wickets for 10 runs, which together with a couple of run outs ended Penn State's innings at 129. 
BMCC batted and Rahul Sarnobat generated pace, got hit for 2 fours and clean bowled the 2 openers in his first over! Akhil Kumar took 2 more wickets whilst Rifat Hussain 22 (2 fours, 1 six) showed defiance. Wahaj Anwar hit 21 (1 four, 1 six) before getting run out by a brilliant running one-handed pickup and throw by Sarnobat at mid-on. Waqar contributed 11 before being run-out to leave BMCC 107 all out as the twilight sky turned an incandescent orange.
PSAL Commissioner Thompson congratulated the Penn State guys and added, "It's great to see cricketers graduate from playing for their High Schools (in NYC) to playing for their Colleges! Hopefully BMCC or another NY College can go on to win the American College Cricket Championship next year!"
Raganathan, President of Penn State Cricket Club said "I would like to extend our invitation to Colleges to play at our new ground. We have excellent facilities (astro turf, flood lights etc.).We also have several players who have achieved a lot in Indian domestic leagues, including two who could not make it today - Vikram Kumar who was the wicket keeper for Tamil Nadu in Ranji Trophy and Mahesh Krishnamurthy who was the runner-up in the ESPN Fastest Bowler Challenge for Chennai. "
Rahul Sarnobat was declared the Man of the Match, photos taken and the Penn State Team started on their four hour journey back to school and homework.   
Next College game is Saturday, Oct 31st - 12 Noon at Baisley Pond Park 
American College Champions Montgomery College returns to New York .
For info call American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah 718 751 6117 

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