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 279, there has to be some special talent!
Played at the DPC Matunga between Dena Bank and Mumbai Port Trust, Mumbai Port Trust won the toss and elected to field first. Their decision to bowl first was spot on as they were all out for just 165runs where in right arm off-spinner Mairaj Khan yielded magic with the ball coming up with stellar bowling figures of 7/52 in 20.2 overs. Mumbai Port Trust on the other hand went on to score a gigantic total of 768/7 in 157overs. Opener Rajendra gave a decent start with 47 but it was their right handed wicket-keeper batsman Akash Anand who 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(15fours, 1six). Apart from them Yogesh Dicholkar scored a timely 100* along with Pratik Prabhu and Mairaj Khan chipping in with half centuries.
Mumbai Port Trust won the match on 1st innings and it was definitely 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. Mairaj and Yogesh’s all round perfomance and Ninad’s supporting 152 were also equally commendable in the match.