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New Yorkers Shine In India U-19 Tour

By Orin Davidson
It was touted a grand success by the team management, but final results tell a different story of the USA Cricket Academy’s junior team’s Christmas trip to India.

Akeem Dodson (left) receives his MVP prize for the victory Gujarat.

The team comprising an assortment of Under-19 players from mainly New Jersey and three of New York’s best won three matches and lost six on a two-week tour against a number of Under-19 District teams from the world’s most populous cricket nation.

New York captain Akeem Dodson, Alex Kirton and Gregory Sewdial produced average performances given their pedigree and from all reports with better handling on tour, better displays could’ve been had.

Dodson batted well in the circumstances, posting an unbeaten half century and was even replaced as captain coming towards the end of the tour, which could not have helped his morale. Kirton produced well on occasions with bat and ball while Sewdial was not given enough playing chances to demonstrate why he is the United States Under-19 Most Valuable Player at the 2007 national championships.

USA Academy crushed the Gurjarat Cricket Association U-19s by nine wickets in their penultimate game in their best performance of the tour. It was after they narrowly defeated Surat U-19 on less wickets in a thrilling tie and overcame Gurjarat in a 10 overs encounter.

Their losses were at the hands of Vapi Micro Ink Under-19, Surat U-19, Baroda U-19, Anand Under-19, Ahmedabad Under-19 and Gujarat U-19.

Taking on Gujarat in their second game on January 2, Dodson stroked a brilliant 60 not out to guide the team under Ravi Timbawala’s captaincy, who had replaced him at that stage, to a nine wicket victory.

Sent in to bat GCA U-19 was bundled out for 153 runs in 40 overs with USA Academy’s Dineth Ketagoda ruining the Indians innings by bagging four wickets for 17 runs.

Brijesh Patel, Timbawala and Diren Patel chipped in with one wicket each.

Dodson went on to pave the way for the victory with his 60 which included 10 fours and featured a 105-run opening partnership with Saami who scored 27 with five fours.

They went on to reach their target with Shalin Nalik contributing 23.

USA Academy’s first victory saw them triumphing over Surat U-19 after losing six wickets to the opposing team’s nine in an unusual tied encounter at Vapi.. Sent in to bat the home team scored 195 in 40 overs to which USA Academy tied off the last ball. Nisarg Patel bagged 3-35 to restrict the home team while Dhiren Patel supported well with 2-14 and Dineth Patel 1-14.

Matthew Hivner led the victory charge with an accomplished 50 while Timbawala hit 30, Saami Siddiqui 28, Nisarg Patel 23, and Sewdial 17. Dodson contributed 10.

In the 10 overs a side victory over Gujarat, USA Academy scored 82-8 in their allotment, with Nisarg Patel topscoring with 20 and Anvit Patel contributing 18. Nisarg Patel and Kirton then bowled well to restrict the home team.

The first game of the tour saw USA Academy being crushed by 121 runs by Vapi U-19 who totaled 238-7 off 40 overs. Ashok Delker came good for the homesters with 94 runs while the visitors’ Brijesh Patel took 2-42. In reply USA Academy fell for 117 with only Timbawala showing resistance with 45 not out. Dodson made 15.

Against Surat, the visitors lost by 29 runs after scoring 22 in 38.1 overs to Surat U-19s 249. Sewdial topscored with 32, Kirton made 25, Timbawala 26 and Dodson 19. Ketagoda captured 3-58.

In USA Academy’s worst performance they were beaten by eight wickets by Baroda U-19. They scored a paltry 132 despite Siddique hitting 30 and Kirton 24. Baroda knocked off the target for the loss of only two wickets.

When the visitors took on Ahmedabad U-19 they played in the awesome 60,000 capacity stadium there where they lost by nine runs. Ahmedabad were restricted to 178 but USA Academy fell short, losing in the last over with three balls remaining, scoring 169. Nisarg Patel captured 2-38 and Brijesh Patel 2-32 in two good bowling performances. The former came back to hit a topscore of 38 with Timbawala supporting with 28 and Anvit Patel 22.

Another brilliant all-round performance by Nisarg Patel could not produce a victory against Anand U-19. The California player scored an excellent 54 not out as USA Academy scored 166 in 35 overs in reply to 190 made by the strong Anand U-19.
Nalik made a breezy 16 and Kartik Vittala 19. Earlier Nisarg snared 2-29 with the ball and was ably supported by Dhiren Patel 3-33, Kirton with 2-25 and Vitalla 2-20.

In their other game, a brilliant century by Gujarat’s Pryan Panchal paced the home team to a five wicket victory. Panchal struck 110 not out as his team overcame 219-8 made by USA Academy. Dodson hit two sixes and four fours in a topscore of 37. Sewdial came good with 35 and Kirton 30 who later returned to bag 2-33 in a fine all-round display. Nisarg Patel took 2-36.

The team returned to the US last Friday.
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