He stands just a bit over five feet, but 14-year-old Prithvi Shaw stood tall at Azad Maidan on Wednesday. The diminutive teenager, playing for Rizvi Springfield (Bandra), etched himself a name in the hallowed school of Mumbai cricket, with blazing knock of 546 in a Harris Shield (Elite division) match against a hapless St Francis D'Assisi attack.
Prithvi's stay at the middle, which started on Wednesday, lasted 367 minutes and 330 balls (an astounding strike rate of 165.45) aided by 85 boundaries and five sixes. His team was finally dismissed for 991.
In the process, Prithvi became the highest scorer in the prestigious 117-year-old tournament. He surpassed former teammate Arman Jaffer's record of 473, set earlier this year.
The ninth-standard student also broke a 70-year-old record held to become highest scorer in India eclipsing the 515 made by Dadabhoy Havewala for BB and CI Railway vs St Xavier's College in Bombay during the 1933-34 season.
He also became the third Indian player to score above 500 after Havewala and Chaman Lal (502* for Mehandra College vs Government College, Patiala in 1956-57).
In available record books, the innings will go down as the third highest individual score after AEJ Collins' 628* in a competitive match in England in 1899 and CJ Eady's 566 in in 1901.
"I had no idea about the records and was not chasing any. I didn't know when I was in the 490s because I told my teammates not to tell me my score. I was batting well and I wanted to play my natural game. Once I reached 500, my teammates told me and cheered for me," said Prithvi after his innings.
"I was told to play my natural game and not gift my wicket away by the coach. They knew if I got settled I would score big. There was no pressure on me and my mind was free. The St Francis' attack was good and I had to play the ball on merit. I have given away a few chances but they were difficult ones and not taken," he said.
Prithvi is level-headed, he picks his words wisely. When asked about his chances to play for India he says, "There is still a long way to go and I don't want to think about that now. I am just focused on playing the game now and looking at it step by step."
This is not Prithvi's first brush with fame, but his biggest yet. Until recently, he scored a century in the city's revamped senior A Division league against Muslim United, playing for Parel SC. He is also the skipper of Mumbai's under-16 side and many a time won matches for his school.
He took to cricket at the tender age of four. His father Pankaj Shaw, on the advice of a friend, enrolled him to a local cricket club in their neighborhood in Virar.
Prithvi's days used to start at 4:30am to catch the 6:10 fast to Churchgate, if he missed that it would become an arduous task for him travelling lugging his kitbag around.
Seeing the troubles his child faced, Pankaj moved to Santa Cruz to get rid of a major fatigue concern of travelling long distances in jam-packed locals. But to ensure that Prithvi gets the best exposure he was admitted into Rizvi Springfield and ever since it has been long road to success.