An intenseful cricketing month of December where high profile tournaments like Giles Shield, Times Shield, Purshottam Shield, Cosmopolitan Shield and Harris Shield were played in full flow amongst other corporate tournaments. The month of December which is considered a very intense month for cricketers witnessed some spell binding knocks which included as many as 8 double tons in the whole month. Apart from the double tons too, there were numerous knocks which took our breath away and hence it was really difficult to shortlist the Top 5 Knocks of Mumbai.
After a grueling session of discussions and shortlisting, here are the Cricketgraph top 5 Knocks in Mumbai for the month of December 2017 in Mumbai Cricket.
Joint 5th– Rahul khicha–154 off 58balls, YCC Omtex Cup ‘17, RHB
Played at the Old Payyade Cricket Ground at Kandivali in Mumbai, a record was created on 9th of December. More than a record, a history in local cricket got created from the bat of Rahul Khicha. We have all seen Chris Gayle and Mccullum do this at the international level but we hardly come across such type of dangerous batsman at the local level. ECM who won the toss elected to put KCD to bat first were hardly aware on what was about to hit them. Opener Rahul demolished the bowlers with his 58ball 154 which included 15big sixes and 12fours which helped KCD post 326/8 in 32 overs. It was on the back of his knock his team won the match by 36runs and Rahul entered his name into the Payyade ground’s hall of fame!
5th-Sagar Shah- 100 off 42balls, GSC Champions Cup ’17, RHB
Just fresh from his batting histrionics in the last match where he took on the bowlers with a 28ball 68, Sagar is stamping his presence as an attacking opener now again with a brutal ton coming off mere 42balls. Played at the Aarey Bhaskar Cricket Ground between Knights and Mumbai Tigers A, Mumbai Tigers won the toss and elected to field first.
However, they were not aware about the zone in which Knight’s opener Sagar Shah was in. Sagar took on the bowlers from the word ‘go’ and continued his form from the last match. The hard hitting aggressive opener this time went on to make 101* off mere 42 deliveries smashing 9fours and as many as 7sixes to enthrall his team mates and the spectators alike. With the help of his knock, Knight were able to post a total of 200/3 in 90 overs which they defended successfully as they won the match by 94runs. Definately a perfect 31st December treat for Sagar and his mates!
4th-Bravish Shetty- 214 off 170balls, Times Cricket Shield ’17-18
Bravish has over the years proved his capabilities with the bat, he has the right amount of patience, aggression, power and resilience which are all crucial in the making of a world class batsman. In the match played between Reliance and A.G (L&R) at the MB Union cross maidan, A.G won the toss and elected to field first with an aim of restricting the opposition to a low total. However, Reliance were all out for 200 in the 1st innings and in reply, A.G (L&R) posted a big total of 641 where in right-handed Bravish scored a flashy 214 off just 170balls smashing 25fours and 6sixes to take on the bowlers. Bravish’s batting was a pure treat to the eyes as he played some amazing cricketing shots en-route his aggressive double ton. It was on the back of his ton which helped his team win the match handsomely on 1st innings lead.
3rd-Shashank Singh- 237 off 205balls, Times Cricket Shield ’17, RHB
This knock of 237 was his 3rd ton in his last 4 innings and his form continued even after that with a superlative average in the Times Shield Torunament. There are just so many batsmen doing good at the local level in India that the pool of cricketing talent in India is the richest amongst all the countries. Here, you will find hidden unpolished diamonds waiting to get explored on the smallest of opportunities and one of them is surely Shashank Singh who has displayed tremendous amount of capabilities with the bat. Shashank who had a wonderful season so far and has excelled in almost every match and tournament he has got to play. DY Patil who won the toss at the DY Patil ground & notched up 436/7 as opener Shashank smashed an opulent 237 off mere 205deliveries(22fours,12sixes) reminding us of Nathan Astle and Sehwag. MIG CC were in reply bundled out for 178runs as DY Patil were handed over a big win by 258runs on their home turf, thanks to Shashank’s terrific batting.
2nd– Ayush Jethwa- 242 off 202balls, Giles Shield ’17, RHB
This was a match where in Ayush’s team was already in trouble as they had to chase a big total of 373 on the back of Anish More’s fantastic ton of 211* from Parle Tilak. SVIS were at one stage struggling with their openers getting out early but they had their ever dependable trump card in Ayush who turned the tides of the match from nowhere. Ayush went on to score an attacking 242 off 202balls (36fours) which helped SVIS script a thriller of a win while chasing. Ayush on the other hand continued to stamp his class as one of the most promising players in the Mumbai Cricketing Circuit.
& Finally make way for the no.1-
1st Akash Anand- 277 off 379balls, Times Cricket Shield ’17, RHB
We hardly come across wicket-keeper batsmen who are equally consistent with the bat as wicket-keeping is itself a tough job. You need to be on your toes all the time, you have to jump, dive, stay flexible and alert throughout the duration of the match. Hence, a lot of physical and mental energy gets dedicated to these skills alone that you can’t expect a keeper to score big runs or play consistently at an average at which Dhoni plays which is a rarity for keepers. Hence, when you see a 22yr old keeper scoring a mammoth score of 277, there has to be some special talent!
DPC Matunga were all out for 168runs after winning the toss and batting first. Mumbai Port Trust on the other hand went on to make a gigantic total of 768/7 in 157 overs their right handed wicket-keeper batsman Akash Anand went on to score a marathon innings. Akash scored one of the most elegant knocks of 2017 in Mumbai and also the highest score in this year’s times shield scoring 277 off 379balls(25fours, 1six). Akash did a lot of hardwork as he did 171runs in running between the wickets while also stitched a giant partnership of 351runs with the talented no.4 bat Ninad Kadam who scored a fabulous 152 off 153balls.
Mumbai Port Trust won the match on 1st innings and it was definitely on the back of Akash’s 277 which stood out in the match. The amount of patience, resilience and consistency at which Akash played was simply impressive and this is not the 1st time he has impressed the cricketing community as a genuine wicket keeper batsman with such classy knocks. Facing 379deliveires like the old school cricket of Dravid & Laxman is itself an achievement and a difficult task to master in an era of modern day cricket where players just want to hit fours and sixes.