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A match made in heaven for 'grand boy' Pranav Dhanawade

The opponents fielded their 'B' team, the square boundaries were too small and he was lucky to survive a few times, but everyone at the Kalyan ground yesterday was in awe of the boy from a humble background, who made 1009 not out

"It is a 10-minute break. Let him take rest," said someone entrusted with the well-being of Pranav Dhanawade, the boy who hit 1009 not out in a HT Bhandari Trophy match for the KC Gandhi School in Kalyan.

Also Read: How Pranav proved he is a Mumbai cricketer, after all!

Pranav Dhanawade of KC Gandhi School is all set to slam one en route his record-breaking 1009 not out in a HT Bhandari Trophy inter-school match against Arya Gurukul School in Kalyan yesterday. Pics/Sameer Markande
Pranav Dhanawade of KC Gandhi School is all set to slam one en route his record-breaking 1009 not out in a HT Bhandari Trophy inter-school match against Arya Gurukul School in Kalyan yesterday. Pics/Sameer Markande

No sooner had tea been called, a swarm of onlookers and the media invaded the field to speak to Pranav. As the deluge refused to die down, Pranav was whisked away to the relative safety of a cabin at one end of the ground. It was almost as if an India star had made an appearance.

Also Read: Pranav was given ultimatum by coach for 'attitude issue'

1465 declared
By the afternoon session, the KC Gandhi School had declared on 1465 for three. Their opposition, Arya Gurukul School, had already lost three wickets before tea. "I was thinking of declaring at lunch, but we stayed on as Pranav needed about 70 runs to get to 1000," said Harish Sharma, the coach of KC Gandhi School.

Also Read: List of highest individual scores in every form of cricket

People were standing along the boundary. They either spoke about Pranav or wanted to talk to him. Close to the practice nets, Pranav's father, Prashant, an auto-driver, was swarmed by a large crowd as he granted one interview after another. This continued even as Pranav quietly went about his fielding in the middle post tea. Needless to say, his every move was monitored. On one occasion, the large section cheered him on and the boy sheepishly waved back.

Scorer Sharmila busy
For scorer Sharmila Thakur, it was unlike any other day. "Please come after some time. I'm just finishing it," she replied with a smile when faced with constant requests for the scorecard. Meanwhile, Arya Gurukul kept sinking in the middle, but it hardly mattered.

Pranav's father Prashant, who is an auto-driver
Pranav's father Prashant, who is an auto-driver

"I've never seen such batting at the school level. I was impressed with his (Pranav's) shot selection as he was creating shots," said one of the coaches. It was a tame end to the proceedings as Arya Gurukul were shot out for a paltry 52 in the second innings. Aayush Kamath's spell of eight for 16 had slipped into oblivion as Pranav's schoolmates carried him on their shoulders. Some of his teammates watched on and soaked in the moment.

Two more centurions
It's easy to forget that there were two other batsmen, who had also scored centuries. Both Aakash Singh (173) and Siddhesh Patil (137) had been involved in 500-run partnerships with Pranav. "Pranav was getting 70s and 80s but did not make 100s. Here it is," said one of his teammates. The festivities weren't short of felicitations. Jitendra Awhad, an MLA, got to the ground as soon as the game was over and felicitated the Dhanawade family.

Points to note
Pranav's feat is unique and deserves all the accolades but a few details need to be heeded. Arya Gurukul had fielded their 'B' team as their main side wasn't allowed to play due to exams. The square boundaries on either side of the wicket were too small and Pranav was also lucky to survive a few chances too.

But, who's asking? A boy from a humble background has made headlines and that is what everyone wants to talk about. The Dhanawade family's life has changed and how!

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