Ranji Trophy: Gigantic knock was triple centurion Samit Gohel's sole goal
Gujarat opener Gohel became the highest scorer in first-class cricket as an opening batsman for his 359; He carried his bat through, breaking Bobby Abel's 117-year-old record
Gujarat opener Samit Gohel at Jaipur airport after his record-breaking triple hundred against Odisha in Ranji Trophy quarter-final yesterday
Triple hundreds are the flavour of the season. After Karun Nair's record-breaking triple against England in Chennai recently, 26-year-old Samit Gohel, from the dairy hub Anand district in Gujarat, scored an unbeaten 359 in their Ranji Trophy quarter-final win over Odisha in Jaipur yesterday. Gujarat entered the semi-final for the first time since 1951.
Gohel became the highest scorer in first-class cricket as an opening batsman for his 359. He carried his bat through, breaking Bobby Abel's 117-year-old record. Abel, while opening the batting for Surrey, scored an unbeaten 357 against Somerset in 1899. Hanif Mohammad's 499 in the 1958-59 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy semi-final between Karachi and Bahawalpur, remains the highest score by an opener in first-class cricket. He was unfortunately run out one short of 500.
In elite company
Gohel is also the fourth joint-highest run-getter for India in first-class cricket behind Bhausaheb Nimbalkar (443*), Sanjay Manjrekar (377), Maruti Venkat Sridhar (366) and Vijay Merchant (359*).
Talking to mid-day from Jaipur after his heroic feat, Gohel said: "I was confident that I will get a big score this season. I was batting well in the earlier matches, but somehow I found myself in the zone in this one. I played session by session without putting too much pressure on myself."
On what went through his mind during his innings, Gohel said: "I was not thinking too much about anything. Our aim was to win the match and make it to the semis. After we got the first innings lead, things became a little easy. Our coach (Vijay Patel) and Parthiv bhai (skipper Parthiv Patel) told me to bat long and I just tried to do that. My fellow opener Priyan Panchal scored a triple ton this season and he has been an inspiration too," added the opener who had no clue about the records he broke along the way.
Gujarat head coach Vijay Patel wasn't exactly surprised by Gohel's long vigil at the crease. "Technically he is very sound, but he was a very defensive batsman who would play 150-200 balls to score 35-40 and get out. But we backed him because we knew he has the potential to be an asset to the team," said Patel.
Praising the opener, skipper Parthiv said: "It is great to see someone getting 300, and to create a world record is even better. I just helped him with the intent of scoring runs."
- 359* Samit Gohel (Guj) n 351* Swapnil Gugale (Mah)
- 314* Priyank Panchal (Guj) n 308 Rishabh Pant (Delhi)
- 304* Sagun Kamat (Goa)
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