Vidarbha teenager Atharva Taide matches Yuvraj Singh's domestic feat
What's the story?
Vidarbha's 18-year-old batsman Atharva Taide has matched the feat of big-hitter Yuvraj Singh, following a brilliant knock of 320 in the final of the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy final against Madhya Pradesh. He described his emotions on coming close to the magical mark of a triple century by revealing, “there was a lot of pressure because I had never been this close to a triple ton, and I wanted to get over with.”
In case you didn't know..
During the 1999-2000 domestic season, Yuvraj had slammed a triple century in the final of the same tournament, the last instance of an Indian batsman achieving the feat. His massive 358 had come for Punjab against Bihar, which included his future captain in the senior Indian team, MS Dhoni.
Before the final began on January 28, one of the Vidarbha players had asked Taide to score big in the match. "Atharva, ek bada score hona agar next level ke liye highlight hona hai to, 100 se kuch nahi hota aaj kal (Atharva, you will need a huge score to be highlighted for the next level, a 100 is not enough these days).” The southpaw replied confidently, "Yeh match mein karta hun, bhai (I'll do it in this match, brother).”
The heart of the matter
While on 294, teenager Taide, who was also the captain, hit a four; and got even closer to the landmark. He ran two to finally touch 300. His innings of 320 featured 34 fours and a solitary six, and he ended up facing 483 balls on the way. Taide's special knock ensured Vidarbha lifted their maiden Cooch Behar title, just weeks after winning their first ever Ranji Trophy during the 2017-18 home season. They put on a huge target of 614 after Madhya Pradesh had won the toss, but were bowled out for a small score of 289.
“We wanted to score about 450 to get a decent enough lead and bat at least an entire day,” Taide said of Vidarbha's plans. “But I was in good form, so it just went on and on.” Eventually, Vidarbha ended up scoring 614 and Madhya Pradesh finished their second innings on 176/7, thus lifting the trophy on first innings lead.
Taide matching a batsman of the stature of Yuvraj at such a young age is a sign of his potential to make it big, if and when he makes it to Vidarbha's Ranji side in the coming years. However, as with many other upcoming cricketers, it will be essential that he does not get too carried away following this rare feat at such an early age.