PHILADELPHIA - Haverford College took to the road on Sunday April 28, felling the famous Germantown Cricket Club. Haverford lost the toss, and was sent into the field first. Wickets were the name of this game (the game being cricket.) Despite it being a 20-over match, the Fords didn't need the full 20 to both capture 10 wickets while bowling, and secure all the runs needed while batting.
Captain Andrew Cornell began the reign of terror by bowling an experienced batsmen with a quicker delivery. The next wicket would involve Cornell again as sophomore Kaito Nakatani got his first of the day as the other opening batsmen lofted the ball straight to Cornell who was fielding at point. Next, despite standing idle most of the match, sophomore Emile Givental was able to field one ball well and throw it to Nakatani for a run out and the match's third wicket.
The wickets just kept on coming for the Fords, as Nakatani almost notched a hat trick. The fourth batsman entered and hit Nakatani's perfect first ball straight to Cornell, who was holding his ground at silly point and snatched the ball out of the air with a one-handed catch. The second wicket came moments later when first-year Gulesh Shukla made a heroic diving catch at mid-off from Nakatani's following delivery.
The potential for a hat trick was on everyone's mind as Nakatani prepared to bowl his next ball. Haverford fans were waiting at the boundary line to throw their caps onto the pitch. Unfortunately, Nakatani's next ball turned out to be a dot ball and hats sadly remained on heads. Overall, Nakatani had an absolutely outstanding day, as he took four wickets and only gave up seven runs in his four overs. Haverford's bowling was able to restrict Germantown to just 40-5 after the match's first ten overs.
Because of the challenging conditions of the pitch presented at Germantown, pace bowler Shukla made to the decision to change his bowling style abruptly. Switching to off break deliveries, Shukla's first wicket of the day was caught and bowled. In all, Shukla had two wickets for nine runs in his four overs bowled. Sophomore Malcolm Thompson also contributed to the cascade of wickets. In his only over of the match, one of Thompson's deliveries kept low, sneaking past the bottom of the bat.
Germantown was only able to score 53 runs before being bowled out by the Fords in just 15 overs. In the spirit of cricket's self-proclaimed Senior Day (a day which recognizes the senior class's four years of hard work and dedication), the two senior co-captains Nate Rolfe and Cornell started off batting in partnership. The number of spinners in the Germantown side made the Fords dizzy in the first few overs of batting, as Cornell floated the ball which ended up being caught at mid-wicket, while Rolfe was bowled by tricky leg spinner.
After Cornell stepped down, Nakatani stepped up to the crease. The bowler quickly became the bowled as Nakatani fell on the second ball he faced. Despite the darkening sky, Haverford continued batting brightly. Shukla stepped in for Nakatani and showed his composure, eventually hitting a total of 18 runs off of 20 deliveries. Continuing the Senior Day spirit, senior wicket-keeper Charlie Lynn was moved up the batting order to step in for Rolfe. Lynn was a vital part of the Fords batting in the latter stages, displaying both poise with straight-bat defense as well as forceful hits. Shukla and Lynn showed off their months of endurance training, taking numerous quick singles and even running a four.
The match ended when Shukla hit the only boundary of the day, a powerful shot straight down the ground to lead Haverford to a seven wicket victory over the hosts.
Haverford now returns to action with the Philadelphia Cricket Festival bringing a jam packed slate of action to Cope Field. A full weekend of cricket and comraederie awaits, with cricketers from across the globe converging on the corner of College and Coursey. The Fords face off with Royal Automobile Club to open the tournament action on May 2 (3:45 p.m.). On Friday, May 3, Haverford takes on Galacticos Cricket Club of New York City (3:45 p.m.). On Saturday, May 4, the Fords take on Honolulu CC, Hawaii's only Cricket Club (12:30 p.m.). A more familiar foe, Amwell Valley, does battle with the Fords at 3:45 p.m. A matchup with Buckeye Cricket Club of Columbus, Ohio is slated for Sunday, May 5 as action wraps up ahead of the Cricket Festival Final at Philadelphia Cricket Club (1:30 p.m.)