Naman Wason, a 21-year-old batsman of Yorks Club, registered his name in history by smashing 285, the highest individual score ever in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) league’s one-day games.
Playing a DDCA Hot Weather League game against City Gymkhana on Tuesday at the Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce (GGSCC), where he is also a B.Com. student, the right-handed opener took 121 balls to slam 285, hitting 29 sixes and over 20 fours. Yorks hit 500/8 in 40 overs.
With this score, Wason surpassed a 21-year-old record set by Sachin Khurana, who hammered 276 off just 95 balls in 2002 at the Ferozeshah Kotla-II ground for Gemini Club against Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. His record of 30 sixes, however, stays intact. Khurana had broken former India international Vijay Yadav’s 243 to create the DDCA record during his time.
Wason began the innings in a sedate manner, reaching only 70-odd in the first 20 overs. However, he blew away the City Gymkhana Club attack in the last 20 overs, scoring over 200 runs in the period.
“I have to credit my team and coach for this. It was a team effort. I played according to the merit of the ball. I didn’t play any unusual shot. My plan was to play full quote of overs. I charged only after 20 overs,” said Wason to Patriot. He hit ‘15 or 16’ of his 29 sixes straight down the ground.
The 21-year-old has represented Delhi under-16 in the Vijay Merchant (U-16) Trophy in 2017-18 season and Delhi under-19 in the Cooch Behar (under-19) Trophy in 2019-20.
There were two-three overs against the spinners, in which he hit 4-5 sixes in an over.
“I was trying to play my shots. Whenever balls would fall in my range, I would hit them. The pitch was good,” said the right-handed batsman, whose team had won the toss and batted.
Wason was among the top run-getters in DDCA league last season – second in the list in his division – with 598 runs for Delhi Gymkhana. This year, he has shifted to Yorks under Uday Bhan, with whom he has been training for the last eight years.
Wason had hit 130 in a DDCA-organised Challenger Trophy match last year and also a half-century in a trial game but couldn’t make the Delhi under-25 team since there were better performers.
“My older brother used to play cricket, he gave up when he was in 11th standard. I used accompany him to the ground and play with him. He asked me to pursue cricket and has been promoting me. Uday sir, who was my school coach earlier, had put me into cricket and encouraged me to take it up. He said I have talent,” said Wason, whose brother is a software engineer now.
A lot of credit for Wason’s record can go to wicketkeeper-batsman Vansh Bedi, who came in at No. 3 and started the onslaught on way to a 44-ball 93. Bedi has been in fine form in DDCA Hot Weather, racking up scores of 80 (off 42 balls), 160 (99) and 35 (15) before the 93 on Tuesday. The last three scores have come on consecutive days. Prior to his 285, Wason had scores of 72 and 22.
“Vansh was batting exceptionally well. He was playing faster than me. It was hard luck that he got out early. While he was batting, I kept quiet. But once he was dismissed I started attacking the bowlers,” said Wason.
Bedi, a 20-year-old English (Honours) student from Delhi University’s Swami Shraddhanand College, said positive intent was the key.
“It was our home ground and we wanted to create a big total. We knew that low scores can be chased on these pitches, which is why we set a huge total,” added Bedi.
“It was not decided who will attack but we just observed whose bat was hitting the ball better. We realised the ball was getting hit by my bat better. I told Naman that I will take the charge, and he plays the entire 40 overs,” added Bedi further.
Yorks defeated City Gymkhana by 272 runs, after bowling them out for 228 in 30 overs.