Charhat Punjab Di
Ludhiana,( Sat Pal Soni) :Merely seven months back, Nehal was named the highest ever scorer in the 26 year history of JP Atray Memorial national ODI tournament. That day, he had beaten Lalit Yadav’s 168 & Shikhar Dhawan’s 161.
Today, his batting magic touched a new high. In the ongoing Punjab State U-23 tournament semifinals, the swashbuckling southpaw scored elegant 578 against Bathinda at Ludhiana. Ludhiana declared at 880 for 6.The high points of this achievement include fastest 200, fastest 300, fastest 400 and fastest 500 ever.
Although this is not first class cricket but in his score of 578, 37 are 6s & 42 are 4s . Till today, Brian Lara was holding record for the highest individual score in first-class cricket, with 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994. This score included 72 boundaries (10 sixes, 62 fours). So, with Nehal’s 79 boundaries, not only is this record broken but he also has maximum 6s to his credit in a single innings of cricket history. For IPL scouts, watching this innings would have been a feast. India B B Nimbalkar held highest individual score of 443 not out. Don Bradman’s highest score in domestic cricket is 452 not out.
It is worth mentioning that If it were not an outright win against Kapurthala with 7-0 points , Ludhiana won’t be in the semifinals. Nehal’s unbeaten 151 in the preceding match definitely put the team in a commanding situation but in the end, the opposite batters seemed all set and almost went towards a draw. Then Nehal took the ball in his hand and unseated three set batsmen in quick succession thereby taking his team to semifinals. When it comes to bowling he can bowl off break, leg break, pace & googly; all of them with ease.
Nehal was not selected in this ongoing IPL season. Although he was a part of the Punjab’s Mushtaq Ali Squad but didn’t get a chance in playing 11; so he didn’t have national T-20 stats to show. However, today’s number & speed of boundaries would put any T-20 stats also to shame. Nehal says,” Rajasthan Royals’ Sangakara Sir & Zubin Bharucha Sir were both very encouraging at their facility at Nagpur. They spent quality time with me. Based on their inputs, I’m making my strengths stronger & working on less strong areas also. Hopefully, I get a chance with IPL next season. “A score of the magnitude of 578 in 414 balls i.e an average of 139 is unheard of in long format of cricket history in the world.