Kerala batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen announced himself with a staggering knock of 137 runs in 54 balls against Mumbai to ace a chase of 197 in just under 16 overs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The knock included 9 fours and 11 sixes and the Mumbai bowling attack consisting of well-known names like Dhawal Kulkarni, Tushar Deshpande and Shivam Dube.
Opening the batting along with Robin Uthappa, Azharuddeen came out all guns blazing and starting attacking the Mumbai bowlers at will. After Uthappa’s dismissal, he joined captain Sanju Samson and the two made merry before the latter’s dismissal. Then, along with Sachin Baby, he saw his team through in 15.5 overs. The explosive knocks of Mumbai batters Aditya Tare, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Suryakumar Yadav went in vain.
Azharuddeen flooded with appreciation for his knock
Following his knock that led Kerala to victory, Azharuddeen was flooded with messages of appreciation and awe at his swashbuckling knock. The innings was the joint-third fastest century by an Indian in T20s after Rishabh Pant (Delhi vs Himachal Pradesh, 2018) and Rohit Sharma (India vs Sri Lanka, 2017). Yusuf Pathan scored a 37-ball hundred in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals against Mumbai Indians as well in a game that also had Aditya Tare behind the stumps as the wicketkeeper as he was today.
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag took to Twitter to applaud Azharuddeen for his knock saying that finishing the match with his knock and scoring at such an explosive rate against Mumbai was ‘some effort’.
Azharuddeen’s knock now has Kerala in good stead in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where they are in the second spot in their group behind Delhi on net run-rate.