Ace cueist Pankaj Advani won the IBSF World Snooker Championship after defeating his Chinese opponent…
It was a big day for Anjuman-I-Islam’s (CST) Saif Shaikh as he signed his name on the team sheet under the captain’s section. Not only was his side beginning their Harris Shield campaign but Wednesday’s match against Shardashram Vidyamandir English (Dadar) was also Shaikh’s first outing as skipper.
Shaikh led from the front, scoring 106 in his side’s 127-run victory. Shaikh’s urge to take the initiative was evident as the 10th-standard student chose to bat and immediately put on his pads to open the innings alongside Ravikumar Chaudary.
While wickets kept tumbling at the other end, Shaikh kept the scoreboard ticking, scoring at nearly a run-a-ball. By the time he was dismissed for 106 (105 balls, 16×4), his side was coasting at 204/6 in 38 overs. His side eventually finished with 241/8.
Setting Shardashram Vidyamandir a victory target of 242, Shaikh, fielding at covers, showed his prowess as captain. By setting an aggressive field, Shardashram lost wickets regularly. Spinners Shubham Panda and Shivam Singh wreaked havoc, taking four and three wickets, respectively, as the Fort school bundled out their opposition for 114.
“I was in and out of the side in my debut season last year as they had better players. I’m one of the seniors in the side now and have been given the role of captain. It’s a big thing for me. I wasn’t nervous when we won the toss and chose to bat. I wanted to go out there and score runs,” said the Vashi resident as he who cooled himself with limewater.
Coming from a humble background, Shaikh wants to make a name in the game and relieve the burden on his elder brothers, one of whom is a truck driver in Muscat while another handles a small transport business in Mumbai.
“I knew I was good at only one thing – cricket – and that’s why I shifted to Anjuman from Kiddies Paradise English High School in Mumbra. My parents aren’t employed and I know that despite being the youngest in the family, I have to ease the burden of my brothers,” said Shaikh.
Brief Scores: Anjuman-I-Islam English (CST) 241/8 (S Shaikh 106; L Narvekar 4/79, 3/67) bt Shardashram Vidyamandir English Medium (Dadar) 114 all out (T Chavan 39; S Panda 4/14, S Singh 3/28) by 127 runs