Mumbai teenager Pranav scores 1,009 runs in 323 balls!

Don't rub your eyes or pinch yourself. It is true, the four-figure mark has been breached. Mumbai teenager Pranav Dhanawade on Tuesday scripted history by becoming the first batsman ever to notch up a four-figure score by smashing an unbeaten knock of 1,009 in an inter-school tournament here.

The 15-year-old, playing for the K. C. Gandhi Higher Secondary School, reached the gigantic score in just 323 deliveries with a jaw-dropping strike rate of 312.38.   -  Special Arrangement

The final scoreboard showing Pranav Dhanawade's score.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Don't rub your eyes or pinch yourself. It is true, the four-figure mark has been breached.

Mumbai teenager Pranav Dhanawade on Tuesday scripted history by becoming the first batsman ever to notch up a four-figure score by smashing an unbeaten knock of 1,009 in an inter-school tournament here.





The 15-year-old, playing for the K. C. Gandhi Higher Secondary School, reached the gigantic score in just 323 deliveries with a jaw-dropping strike rate of 312.38 in the game against Arya Gurukul in the Bhandari Cup inter-school tournament organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

Pranav’s knock, lasting 395 minutes, consisted of a staggering 59 sixes and 129 fours. His team declared the innings at 1,465 for three. The batsman broke a 116-year-old cricketing record after surpassing 652 on Monday, thus taking over the distinction of the “highest individual scorer” (including minor cricket) from A. E. J. Collins. Collins held the record since 1899 when he struck an unbeaten 628 for Clark House against North Town House in the United Kingdom.

On Monday, the teenager also crossed Prithvi Shaw’s innings of 546 scored two years ago in a Harris Shield match, an innings that had previously been the highest individual score in any form of cricket in India.

'Ranji Trophy next target'

On Tuesday, by the time he walked in to lunch, unbeaten on 921, the crowd at the Wayle Maidan in Kalyan had become sizeable.There was also a hoard of mediapersons. While he had refrained from spelling it out to Sportstar the evening earlier, for the first time Dhanawade stated that “1000 is the next target”.

And it didn’t take him long after lunch as he reached the milestone with a straight six and the crowd roared in unison. Father Prashant, an auto-driver, who till last year used to drive his son down to the nooks and corners of the maximum city, along with coach Mobin Shaikh, burst into an impromptu dance along with Dhanawade’s teammates.

“When I went in to lunch on 921 that was the first time I thought of scoring a thousand runs. The next target now is to get into Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy squad,” Dhanawade told Sportstar later in the evening.

Praise from all quarters

India’s limited-overs skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday paid tribute to the Mumbai teenager, saying that it was not a joke to score so many runs. Speaking on the eve of India’s departure for the Australia tour, Dhoni said, “It’s not a joke to score so many runs. It is serious business in any condition and ground keeping in mind the age. It’s tremendous, it is important to improve. He must be a very special kid. I would have gotten bored. He’s calculating his batting. It is something that is very rare.”

Middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane also heaped praise on Dhanawade, saying that his knock was massive and hoped that he would play for India some day. “It’s a massive feat to do this. He has started well. 1009 runs take long to say it, but to achieve an individual score like this is a big achievement. I hope he plays with us someday. He should just focus on doing well,” he said.

Opponents applaud

While the Dhanawade household deserved to celebrate Pranav’s feat, one also had to spare a thought for the toddlers of the Arya Gurukul school. The mediocre opposition team conceded 1465 runs and were bundled out for 31 and 51, respectively, on either side of Dhanawade’s onslaught.

But they were far from being disheartened. “Even we went out for a snack and shared some happy memories,” said Yogesh Jagtap, a student of the school. “It was a phenomenal batting performance but I am proud of my boys. We could not field our main team in the tournament since the tournament clashed with the pre-Board exams. As a result, most of our players were from the fifth or sixth grade. I told them they would have learned more about the game over the last two days than what they would in the next five or six years.”

With inputs from Amol Karhadkar