Anjuman-I-Islam Allana English's skipper Saif Shaikh Mohammad led from the front to score a fluent 105-ball 106 to help the school register a 127-run win over Shardashram Vidyamandir English (Dadar) in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) Harris Shield Plate Division inter-school cricket tournament at Azad Maidan yesterday.
Saif Shaikh Mohammed en route his 105-ball 106 at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
Electing to bat, Anjuman scored 241-9 in the stipulated 45 overs. Saif's knock was laced with 16 boundaries. Anjuman's spin duo Shubham Panda (off spinner) and Shivam Singh (left-arm-spinner) then scalped 4-14 and 3-28 respectively to bowled out Shardashram for 114 in 31.4 overs.
For 15-year-old Saif, his decision to switch to Anjuman-I-Islam from Kiddies Paradise English High School (Mumbra) in 2013 seems to have paid off.
"I came to Mumbai from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh in 2005 just to play cricket. My previous school in Mumbra didn't have much scope for sports. I used to come to Cross Maidan from Sanpada everyday to play cricket. That's when Anjuman coach Iqbal Thakur sir saw me play and asked me to join the school. Last year, I was in the playing XI of the Harris Shield team, but didn't get to play all the matches. This is my first century of the season and scoring it as captain of the team was more satisfying," said Saif.
Coach Iqbal Thakur said: "Saif is a good all-rounder. Last year, he was raw and a bit shy. This year, he is much more confident. I didn't expect him to score a century today."
In another Harris Shield encounter, Oxford Public School (Kandivli) beat Gyan Kendra (Andheri) by 289 runs. The Kandivli school posted a total of 318-7 with Dhruv Sagar scoring 73. Oxford's Vardhan and Sanskar Ranawat claimed 4-4 and 4-11 respectively to bowl out the Kandivli school for just 29 runs.