“I’m brOKen.” That’s Prithvi Shaw’s WhatsApp status, with the OK in bold.
Left out in the cold even when a second-string squad for the ODI series against South Africa was chosen, his state of mind is reflected in the status.
The swashbuckling opener served yet another reminder to the national selectors with a blistering 61-ball 134 against Assam on Friday to help Mumbai register a hat-trick of wins in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Group A.
Shaw thus continued his love-affair with the Rajkot stadium. In January 2017, he marked his First Class debut with a second-innings hundred versus Tamil Nadu on Ranji Trophy debut. In October 2018, he returned and raced to a debut Test hundred versus West Indies. On Friday, he recorded his maiden T20 hundred.
Riding on stand-in captain Shaw’s maiden T20 hundred — and the fourth-highest individual score in tournament history — Mumbai piled up a gargantuan 230 for three at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
In reply, Assam was bowled out for 169 in the last over, thus handing Mumbai a 61-run win. The victory margin will also do Mumbai a world of good in terms of improving its net run rate in the race for knockouts qualification.
The afternoon belonged to Shaw. The only thing that didn’t work in his favour was the toss — the diminutive dasher in charge of Mumbai with Ajinkya Rahane resting after hurting his hamstring while batting versus Madhya Pradesh two days ago.
An on-song Shaw is difficult to contain for the best of T20 attacks, leave alone the Assam bowling pack. That his whirlwind knock — which saw him to race to 50 off 19 balls and hundred off the 46th — included a whopping 13 fours and nine sixes was a testament to his audacious strokeplay. Immediately after completing his century, he slog-swept left-arm spinner Roshan Alam into the stands thrice in the 16th over.
Despite being pegged back by Aman Khan and Tushar Deshpande’s pace early on, the Assam batters put on a much better show, although it was never in the hunt.
Mumbai, yet to win a domestic T20 title, will be hoping for Shaw to continue his silken touch with the willow.