Matunga Premier's medium pacer Ganesh Bhati made an impressive Giles Shield debut with a seven-wicket haul yesterday. His brilliant bowling ensured the Matunga school register a 203-run win over Shri Madhavrao Bhagwat High School (Vile Parle) in the second round of the U-14 inter-school cricket tournament at Azad Maidan.
The Class VIII student shifted from IES Navi Mumbai (Vashi) to Matunga Premier last year in order to pursue cricket. His decision to change schools seems to have paid off. He doesn't mind travelling for an hour and a half from Kharghar to reach his new school.
Riding on a century by Aditya Warang (103), Matunga Premier posted 238-5 in the stipulated 45 overs. Later, the Vile Parle school team was dismissed for a paltry 35 runs. Thirteen-year-old Ganesh dismissed Gautam Ghaver (2), Sanskar Bharti (1), Yash Kamble (0), Omkar Gosavi (0), Mridul Patole (0), Aditya Suryavanshi (0) and Rugved More (1) in seven overs, conceding just five runs. He bowled five maidens. Matunga Premier's left-arm-spinner Shreyash Yadav claimed two for nine.
"We had an advantage since we scored 238 runs. Once their openers — Karan Ghurav and Dhruv Pawar were dismissed without scoring, they crumbled under pressure. They kept losing their wickets at regular intervals," said Ganesh.
Madhavrao Bhagwat physical education teacher Prakash Vad was not disappointed. "Our kids practice on a cement surface, so playing on a proper ground is a different experience. It's fine to get out for 35. What matters is that they tried their best. I am sure they will come back strong next year," Vad said.
Ajinkya scalps seven too
In another tie, IES Raja Shivaji off-spinner Ajinkya Jadhav's 7-17 helped the Dadar school register a seven-wicket win over Sir Cowasjee Jehangir School (Tardeo).