For the second year in a row CER lost by ten wickets to New York in the USACA U-15 Inter-regional tournament, after openers Gordon Makin (24) and Rohit Mogalayapalli (37) had given the Midwesterners a good start at Keney Park, Hartford, CT, today, just as they did last year in New Jersey. Bowled out for 120, CER were then unable to dislodge the New York openers, with Randal Wilson scoring a half-century – a near perfect repeat of last year’s match.
After Friday’s big victory the young CER squad came down to earth with a bump at the USACA Inter-regional U15 Tournament on Saturday. At the impressive Keney Park 1 ground in Hartford, New York, led by Randal Wilson, won the toss and put the Midwesterners in. Openers Gordon Makin and Rohit Mogalayapalli faced some loose bowling early (Gordon pulled the second ball he faced for four), but then New York tightened up, and the two openers, knowing how much depended on them, batted cautiously, taking their partnership past 50 only in the sixteenth over. On the boundary there was satisfaction that they had followed instructions and stayed at the crease, with Gordon keeping the ball on the ground and Rohit chancing his arm a little more. Better New York fielding would have seen an early wicket, but when one came the batsman blamed the matting wicket, as Gordon fell lbw in the seventeenth over to a ball from Chetram Persaud he said cut back in sharply off a bad spot. Rohit batted on until the 26th over, supported by Rahul Kosgi (whose cricketing career began only in May), but when he fell, mistiming a ball from offspinner Ryan Persaud that ballooned to backward point, CER were in trouble. 100/2 became 100/3 as Rahul was caught off Arshaad Farooq for nine, and the rout was on, with Ryan Persaud taking five wickets. Of the remaining batsman, only Ryan Quinlan scored more than one, with four ducks also recorded (and a fighting 0 not out from last man Neil Makin).
Defending 120, CER captain Rohit knew one thing: an early wicket was required to unsettle the New Yorkers (exactly what North East had accomplished the day before, in a match that was closer than might have been expected). Ideally that wicket would have been of the New York captain, generally regarded as their best batsman, and one of the top players in the tournament. With that aim in mind, CER opened with leg spinner Nauman Khan, who again bowled well, and Rahul Kosgi, who has defied all expectations in this tournament. The combination of leg spin and medium pace looked effective, and a lofted off drive from Wilson off Rahul might have gone to hand had midoff been just a little further back, while a better hit drive might also have been caught had there been a speedy long off, but those were the only opportunities that CER got to dismiss Wilson, whose fifty led his team to victory. The only other chance was of a runout of Wilson’s partner, but the CER keeper received a poor throw and his own diving shy at the stumps went just wide. Rohit, Arsalan Babar, and Reeshav Patel all bowled solid spells, and the CER fielding was crisp, but, with no scoreboard pressure and no early wickets, New York looked increasingly comfortable as they cruised to the target in under 30 overs.
So, for the second year in succession, New York dealt effectively with CER’s lower order after the openers had given the Midwesterners a platform, and then, seeing a low target, batted sensibly, showing their experience and their class, to give themselves a clear route to the first-place match. On Sunday CER play a strong North East, for whom Karanjit Singh scored a century against the Directors’ XI.