A perfect 10 for Nazil

Opening the bowling for Kannur, Nazil took all the 10 wickets of Malappuram in the Kerala North Zone (under-19) inter-district cricket championship.

C. T. K. Nazil... superb show.   -  Special Arrangement

A couple of years ago, C. T. K. Nazil took nine wickets in an innings in an inter-KCA-academy match. On Wednesday morning at Perinthalmanna, he did even better.

Opening the bowling for Kannur, he took all the 10 wickets of Malappuram in the Kerala North Zone (under-19) inter-district cricket championship. He did all the damage in one devastating spell of swing bowling.

His figures read 9.4-4-12-10 as host Malappuram, batting first after winning the toss, was dismissed for 28.

"It was after taking my seventh wicket that I began to think of the ten-wicket haul,” Nazil told Sportstar. “This is of course something you could never have imagined.”

He said the conditions had helped his bowling on this day. “Since the play had begun at 7.15 in the morning, because of the extreme heat, I could get some swing,” he said. “But it was only in my fourth over that I got my first wicket. I was able to in-swing the ball well.”

Not surprisingly, he got four of his wickets through lbw, and he cleaned bowled three batsmen. “My focus has always been on swing,” the 18-year-old said. “Bhuvneshwar Kumar is my favourite bowler.”

And he has cricking heroes to look up to closer home, too. He hails from a family in Thalassery that has produced several fine cricketers for Kerala, such as Usman Kutty, C. T. K. Masood and Fabid Farook.

“My immediate target is to get into Kerala's Under-19 team,” Nazil said. “Then I want to play in the Ranji Trophy,” he said.

His coach Mazhar Moidu believes he certainly has the potential for that. “Nazil should be one of the best swing bowlers in his age-group in Kerala at the moment,” he said. “He is particularly good with his in-swingers, and he has also been working on his body of late. He is bowling quicker than he used to.”

According to statistician Sudhir Aly, it is after nearly 20 years that a Kerala bowler has taken 10 wickets in an innings. Leg-spinner C. M. Shyam had performed the feat in the Vijay Merchant Trophy (under-15) match between Kerala and Goa in Kochi in 1996-97.

  Dugout videos