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Prithvi Shaw’s 244 points propels Northants to a decisive victory over Somerset

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By 87 runs, Northamptonshire (415 for 8) defeated Somerset (328 for) (Umeed 77, Dickson 52, Keogh 4-49).

In the Metro Bank One Day Cup at Wantage Road, Prithvi Shaw set a new record by scoring a stunning 244 off just 153 balls, defeating Somerset by a margin of 87 runs. Shaw’s innings was the highest score ever by Northamptonshire in List A cricket and ranked sixth overall in List A history.

The Indian international batted brilliantly, hammering 28 fours and 11 sixes. Along the process, he surpassed his 227 for Mumbai against Puducherry in Jaipur in 2021, which was unbeaten. The second-highest List A innings ever played in England were posted by him, surpassing Ben Duckett’s 220 not out for the England Lions against Sri Lanka A in 2016. Only Alistair Brown has scored more goals (268 for Surrey versus Glamorgan at the Oval in 2002).

Shaw was not give another opportunity till he reached 200 after nearly choking on before scoring. He scored runs all over the wicket and threaded the ball through the gaps with surgical skill, making batting appear effortless. Somerset did not assist the situation either with some unexpectedly poor ground catching and fielding.

Shaw took on the spinners, hitting one ball off of the ground with one foot while using the other to sweep high over long-off. Along with playing fluidly against the seamers, he twice deposited Somerset’s most seasoned bowler Jack Brooks over long-off for six by driving, cutting, and managing the hook shot superbly.

He needed just 81 balls to reach his first 100 and 48 more to get 200. In the process, he surpassed Wayne Larkins’ 172 in 1983 and David Willey’s 167 in 2013, both scores made in 40-over matches, before surpassing David Sales’ 161 from 2006, the previous greatest score for the Steelbacks in 50-over cricket.

With his highest List A score of 77 off 67 balls, Somerset opener Andy Umeed gave the visitors some hope. He smashed the ball with tremendous aggression and shared a century stand with Lewis Goldsworthy. However, a mini-collapse resulted from Rob Keogh’s spin as Somerset lost three wickets for eight runs in 12 balls. Despite adding 77 runs in seven overs, Sean Dickson and Curtis Campher found themselves with too much work to do thanks to Northamptonshire’s acute fielding in contrast to their opponents. Keogh recorded his best list A cricket finals figures of 4 for 49.

With an opening partnership of 63 runs and six fours, Emilio Gay gave Northamptonshire’s innings a solid start during the powerplay before playing Shoaib Bashir straight to mid-on.

With the help of Ricardo Vasconelos, Shaw was able to share a stand of 112 runs in 16.3 overs. They focused on Curtis Campher, taking 18 off of one over, and Vasconcelos hooked him for six to push Northamptonshire over the 150-point mark.

Vasconcelos was given three extra life, first on 22, when short midwicket failed to hold onto a challenging opportunity, and then on 32 and 38, when simpler opportunities were taken. The decisive strike was made by George Thomas, who took a great catch off his own bowling.

Shaw dutifully reached his century off 81 balls, a little more slowly as Goldsworthy got some turn. When facing Brooks, he quickly got his footing because the former Steelbacks bowler let up 19 in one over.

Sam Whiteman scored a run-a-ball 50 with a six and five fours, but he otherwise took second place to Shaw as they added 194 runs in 18.3 overs. They passed Northamptonshire’s 200 in the 32nd over and quickly reached 300 in the 39th before Danny Lamb bowled Whiteman.

As Northamptonshire tried to drive the tempo and lost three batters to catches, Tom Taylor was run out after being dropped on the opening delivery. This was the first of four wickets that fell for two runs, giving Brooks three consolation kills.

Shaw put six down the middle to open the last over, but his lengthy stay came to an end when he holed out off Lamb and departed to a standing ovation.

Thomas stumbled when attempting to pull a short ball from Taylor in the response, but Umeed was in great form, pulling Jack White for six and hitting Simon Kerrigan for two massive sixes, one of which soared over the top and into the top of the Spencer Pavilion. His collapse occurred when Keogh tried to sweep and trapped him in front.

After playing the younger pair and only hitting four boundaries, Goldsworthy chipped Keogh to long-off, where Vasconcelos made an incredible grab. The in-form James Rew was then caught trying to reverse sweep, giving the spinner his third victory.

Luke Procter scored on George Bartlett for 13, but Dickson and Campher went on the attack to try to keep up with the increasing run rate. Prior to falling to a superb boundary catch from James Sales off Taylor, Dickson struck Kerrigan for six while Campher dealt Taylor a similar beating.

Lamb reverse-swept Keogh for six runs, but when he was caught at wide mid-off, Taylor got his third wicket. Dickson’s captain knock came to an end when he was caught in the deep, and Somerset’s last hope also perished. The tail waggled furiously, but in vain in the end.

Shaw remarked, “It was really looking nice since the sun was out and the weather was kind of like it was in India today. “You know this day is for me when an inside edge doesn’t get me out. Sometimes you just have to be lucky, so I believe today was my day. After then, I didn’t look back.

To be honest, I had the number 227 in my thoughts. When Whitey [Whiteman] was present, I chatted with him and informed him that 227 is my highest score. However, the entire team worked well together. I constantly aim to help my team win games and I’m the type of player that puts his team before himself. If my team can win with this kind of scoring, I should keep doing it.

Regarding his reasons for playing county cricket, Shaw continued, “Experience, for sure. I don’t really consider what the Indian selectors might be considering; instead, all I want is to enjoy myself here with the other players and the support personnel. They’ve given me this chance, and Northamptonshire is really taking care of me. It’s great, and I love it.

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