Dhanyavaad to Dhanawade

Kersi - pranavdhanavade








Pranav Dhanavade, India’s gifted young cricketer hit 129 fours and 59 sixers  to reach  his record breaking 1009 run score

By Kersi Meher-Homji

If a fictional book had described a match in which a batsman played an unbeaten innings of 1009 runs, readers would have condemned it as a fantasy. They would have advised the author to be more realistic and less imaginative.

“Get real!” would have been their universal comment. Incredible though it seems, it happened. It actually happened earlier this week in Mumbai.

At least three world records were shattered in minor cricket; the highest individual innings (1009 not out by Pranav Dhanawade, a 15-year-old cricketer from Mumbai), highest total of 3 declared for 1465 and highest margin of victory by an innings and 1382 runs.

Another milestone was that Pranav’s knock, which spanned almost seven hours, included 129 fours and 59 sixes. I still pinch myself to make sure that I am not dreaming!

TIDU offers its heartiest dhanyavaad to Dhanawade who smashed an unbeaten 1009 off 327 deliveries to notch up the highest individual score in minor cricket, breaking a 117-year-old record. His team, Smt KC Gandhi School, Kalyan, declared at a mammoth 1465 for 3 and then dismissed fatigued opponents Arya Gurukul for meagre totals of 31 and 52 for a most one-sided match in the game’s history.

The other heroes for the Gandhi English School were Aakash who scored 173 and Patil who made 137. Patil also took 5 for 3 and 8 for 16 in this one-sided mismatch of the millennium.

Dhanawade began the second day of the two-day HT Bhandari Cup inter-school tournament on 652 not out. He had already surpassed the unbeaten score of 628 by Arthur Collins in 1899 and had also broken the record for the highest individual score by an Indian cricketer in minor cricket. It was previously held by Prithvi Shaw who had amassed 546 in the Harris Shield in 2013-14.

Dhanawade said that once he had crossed 500, he was confident of breaking Shaw’s record and overtaking Collins’ marathon of 628. The wicketkeeper-batsman admitted it took time for his record-breaking achievement to sink in on Monday, 4 January, but he began the second day with a clear goal of getting to the 1000-run mark.

“I couldn’t believe it last evening that I had scored 652 runs but when I went home, I took a bath and slept and today I set myself a target of 1000 runs,” he told Srikanth Ravishanker of ESPNcricinfo.

Dhanawade, whose previous highest score in recognised cricket was 80, had raced to 921 by lunch and went past 1000 runs in the second session. His scoring was probably helped by the small size of the ground in the northern suburb of Mumbai. His school coach, Harish Sharma, however was not willing to concede even a little when talking his student’s monumental effort. “I don’t think the ground size mattered. He hit all over the ground and his technique is built on straight hitting.”

The innings got plenty of attention on social media and was even mentioned by television commentators in the Test currently played between South Africa and England in Cape Town. Dhanawade, who idolises former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, received praise from Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane.

Rahane urged Dhanawade to work harder on his game: “As a Mumbaikar I am really proud of it. 1009 yeh bolne ke liye itna samay lagte hain [It’s quite a mouthful to say 1009]. Two years, ago I think a school team made these many runs, but today an individual managed it. These many runs are usually scored in a season. I hope he continues to concentrate on his game. I am sure he will work hard on his game and come and play with us. I want to wish him good luck.”

Now it is up to the teenager to keep his feet on the ground and not get distracted by the world-wide attention he is receiving.

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