On the first day of the USACA U-15 Inter-regional Tournament in Hartford, Connecticut, Central East Region captain and Man of the Match Rohit Mogalayapalli led from the front, carrying his bat for a magnificent 117, taking a wicket and three catches, as CER’s inexperienced opponents went down by nearly two hundred runs. Rohit received support when CER batted from fellow-opener Gordon Makin (63) in an opening stand of 182, and, when CER bowled, a good performance in the field, led by Vice-captain Nauman Khan, whose leg spin accounted for three wickets for a mere 7 runs, restricted the Directors’ XI to 78/9 off 40 overs.
CER arrived in New England yesterday with just eleven men, as Chicago’s Samvit Ram was, at the last minute, unable to travel, thereby ensuring that eleven-year-old Nauman Ahmed, and twelve-year-old Reeshav Patel (who bowled several fine overs today) and Neil Makin would play every match. Without many of last year’s stalwarts, who graduated this year to the U-17 level, CER had to rely on the most experienced players to lead from the front, and today the openers did just that, carefully building a very fine partnership, without taking too many risks. When CER won the toss, the Captain had no hesitation in choosing to bat, and he and Gordon then dealt well with the somewhat uneven bounce of the matting wicket, and ran well in very intense heat (the big, rather rough outfield meant that boundaries were at a premium – just four fours for Rohit and two for Gordon), giving CER the necessary platform. When Gordon played on to Yash, losing his stumps to a ball that kept low, and then Rahul Kosgi was run out by a direct hit immediately afterwards, Nauman Khan (8) carefully helped Rohit rebuild, as, more briefly, did Priyank Patel, Imran Babar, and Ryan Quinlan (2 n.o.), but it was the skipper’s magnificent 117 not out, Gordon’s 63, and the opposition’s large extras total that accounted for the big score.
Rohit and Rahul, who swung the ball both ways, took the new ball and contained the Directors’ XI well, taking a wicket each and keeping the scoring rate to around 2 an over, but it was leg spinners Nauman Khan and Arsalan Babar who really tied up the batsmen, with only the last wicket partnership showing real resistance, as Richard played straight for a doughty top score of 16 not out to enable the youngsters to bat out their overs. CER took their chances well (three catches to the skipper, two runouts) and could feel satisfied at the end of the day, although their coach warned that tomorrow a very different opponent (New York) awaited, and they would have to bat, bowl, and field even better to compete.
Updates during play tomorrow will be posted to the MCA Twitter feed (@MiCricAcademy) whenever possible.