March 12, 2001

Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan cracks 115 at No 11

It is not often that a No 11 batsman gets a hundred in first class cricket. And in 67 years of the Ranji Trophy competition, no player going in last had reached the three figure mark - until Sunday. The record score had been held by S Mubarak Ali who scored 90 for Nawanagar against Bengal way back in 1936-37. In the process, he and Yadvendrasinhji added 138 runs, a record in the national competition that stood for 47 years. On Sunday, at the picturesque IIT-Chemplast ground in Chennai, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan created Ranji history by scoring 115 in the Ranji Trophy pre quarterfinal against Delhi.

At the fall of the ninth wicket, Vidyut, the junior India left-arm spinner, walked out to join the young MR Shrinivas. Delhi captain Vijay Dahiya persisted with spin to get the last wicket. What followed was history. The left handed Vidyut made 115 off just 122 balls, striking 17 boundaries and three huge sixes out of the ground. In one over from Virendra Shewag, he smashed three fours and a six, as the Delhi players hung their heads in disbelief. By the time the fast bowlers were called in to the attack, Vidyut was in full flow, pulling and hooking the short stuff bowled at him. He got to his hundred with a hook shot to long leg, where Amit Suman dropped the easy catch to give away two runs.

While Vidyut had his moment of glory, the unsung hero at the other end was Shrinivas who played with a lot of responsibility to make an unbeaten 42 off 141 balls with four strokes past the ropes. It was his assuring knock that helped Vidyut to go on the rampage. By the time, the reliable Delhi seamer, Robin Singh Jr, bowled Vidyut, the two batsmen had added 158 runs for the last wicket to take Tamil Nadu to an imposing 592 runs. The only higher last wicket stand in the national competition is 233 between Ajay Sharma and Maninder Singh for Delhi against Bombay in 1991-92.

List of Centuries by No. 11 batsmen

106* TJ Hastings Victoria v South Australia Melbourne 1902-1903 112* A Fielder Kent v Worcestershire Stourbridge 1909 126 WC Smith MCC v Barbados Bridgetown 1912-1913 101 AER Gilligan Cambridge Univ v Sussex Hove 1919 100* Ahsan-ul-Haq Muslims v Sikhs Lahore 1923-1924 121 SN Banerjee India v Surrey The Oval 1946 163 TPB Smith Essex v Derbyshire Chesterfield 1947 109* Maqsood Kundi Muslim Com Bank v Nat Bank Karachi 1981-1982 115* GB Stevenson Yorkshire v Warwickshire Birmingham 1982 115 S Vidyut Tamil Nadu v Delhi Chennai 2000-2001