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Sixteen year old Gauranshu Sharma scored a century on debut in a Metropolitan Cricket League fixture between the Pioneer/Tristate Cricket Club and Lions United Cricket Club. The match was played at Seaview Avenue and 80th.
Pioneer/Tristate’s captain and USA under 19 player Omar Afridi won the toss and had no hesitation in choosing to bat. The captain called on former New York Region U19 representative, Lekhram Latchman, and the 16 year old Gauranshu Sharma to open the innings.
Picture: Gauranshu Sharma (left) and Cameron Mirza (right) after their unbeaten 149 run partnership.
Lions countered with medium pacers Clint Wiseman and H. Douglas. Latchman did not last long as he drove with his head in the air and was caught at extra cover for 5 off Douglas with the score on 7. Left hander, Horatio Paul next arrived at the wicket and immediately began to tear the bowling apart reaching his fifty in ridiculously quick time. In the meantime, young Sharma, playing in his first league game, was stroking the ball beautifully and he too reached a well-played fifty.
Sharma played almost every stroke and like so many great players, rarely hit the ball in the air. He is a beautiful driver of the ball and a master of the cover drive.
Paul, at times, batted as if it was he who invented the game and was a joy to watch. He had just reached his century to tremendous applause when he was given out stumped for exactly 100 runs. It was a magnificent inning and included 8 fours and 3 sixes. The partnership was worth 174 runs and the score was 181 for 2.
The next batsman was Cameron Mirza, former USA under 19 and current English league player. The pyrotechnics continued. Cameron batted with increasing authority reflecting fine attacking strokes with flawless defense. He played with great elegance and fluency and after he had reached fifty, his race to the century mark was only interrupted by his effort to give Sharma the strike so that he could complete his century.
Sharma entered the record books of the Metropolitan Cricket League and the New York Region by completing his century on debut. When the game was called after 37 overs, Sharma was not out on 111 with 9 fours and Mirza 61 not out with 8 fours. The pair had put on 149 runs as the batting team ended with 323 for 2 wickets.
After being battered in the field, no one expected Lions to make a strong reply, and they were right. After being down 55 runs for 8 wickets, they were finally bowled out for 131 in 26 overs. Bill Waysome top scored with 24 not out and Clint Wiseman scored 17 as Youdgesh Ganesh bowled with guile and fire to claim 5 for 19 in 7 overs. New York Region under 17 candidates, Chetram “Mario” Persaud bowled well to take 2 for 26 in 4.1 overs. As of press time, the pundits were still checking the archives to see if Sharma is the youngest player to score a century in the league.