Meet In­dia’s school-cricket boy won­der

CityPress - - Sport - MA­SUD ALAM sports@city­press.co.za

While South African cricket fans were over­whelmed by Temba Bavuma’s test cen­tury at New­lands on Tues­day, an­other spe­cial young tal­ent emerged in In­dia on the same day. There is noth­ing con­nect­ing the two play­ers, but just like Bavuma, who was a rel­a­tively un­known

en­tity be­fore his ex­ploits with the bat at the Cape Town oval this week, Pranav Dhanawade also en­deared him­self on the other side of the globe.

The 15-year-old wick­et­keeper­bats­man rewrote the record books, ham­mer­ing an epic 1 009 not out in an in­ter­school cricket tour­na­ment to reg­is­ter the high­est in­di­vid­ual score in an in­nings in any form of the game. He also broke the pre­vi­ous record of 628 set by Eng­land’s stone age first-class crick­eter Arthur Collins, who made his­tory at the age of 13 in 1899.

Bat­ting for KC Gandhi School, Dhanawade, who was the open­ing bats­man, re­sumed the day from his overnight score of 652 runs and crossed the 1 000-run mark af­ter lunch.

His school de­clared the in­nings at 1 465/3, with Dhanawade un­beaten on 1 009 with 59 sixes and 129 fours, which he scored off 323 balls at a strike rate of 312.38. He played for a to­tal of 395 min­utes. The son of an auto-rick­shaw driver, Dhanawade bet­tered the best-ever in­di­vid­ual score made on a sin­gle day when he went past fel­low teenage sen­sa­tion Prithvi Shaw’s 546, which the 16-year-old made in 2014 in the Har­ris Shield tour­na­ment, an event that brought In­dia’s bat­ting icon Sachin Ten­dulkar into the lime­light more than two decades ago.

Dhanawade cred­ited his fa­ther as the force that pushed him to play, and the old man was partly re­spon­si­ble for his new-found suc­cess. The teen said he was ready for in­ter­na­tional cricket but his ideal start would be in the na­tional Un­der19 team.

Mum­bai school cricket is highly com­pet­i­tive and, be­sides Ten­dulkar, the event has pro­duced cur­rent In­dian opener Ro­hit Sharma. Alam is a re­porter for Prothom Alo, a Ben­gali-lan­guage news­pa­per in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is based in SA cour­tesy of the

Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists

PHOTO: JACO MARAIS

QUIT Hashim Amla quit as SA test cricket team cap­tain this week, caus­ing a storm

Pranav Dhanawade

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