Prithvi Shaw secured his place in the record books with a magnificent 244 off just 153 balls to set up an 87-run victory over Somerset in the Metro Bank One Day Cup at Wantage Road. Shaw’s innings was Northamptonshire’s highest ever score in List A cricket and the sixth highest worldwide in List A history.
The Indian international put on a batting masterclass blasting 11 sixes and 28 fours. Along the way he eclipsed his undefeated 227 for Mumbai against Puducherry at Jaipur in 2021. He also moved past Ben Duckett’s 220* for England Lions against Sri Lanka A in 2016 to post the second highest ever List A innings made in England. Only Alistair Brown with 268 for Surrey against Glamorgan at the Oval in 2002 has scored more.
Shaw did not offer a chance until he passed 200. He made batting look effortless, scoring all around the wicket, threading the ball through tiny gaps with surgical precision. Somerset did not help matters either with some uncharacteristically subpar ground fielding and catching.
Shaw took on the spinners, using his feet to hit down the ground or sweeping high over long-off, one ball flying out of the ground. He also played fluently against the seamers, controlling the hookshot well, driving and cutting fluently and twice depositing Somerset’s most experienced bowler Jack Brooks over long off for six.
He reached his first 100 off 81 balls before powering to 200 off just 48 more. In the process, he overtook David Sales’ 161 in 2006, the previous best for the Steelbacks in 50 over cricket, before moving past David Willey’s 167 in 2013 and Wayne Larkins’ 172 in 1983, both scored in 40 over affairs.
Somerset opener Andy Umeed offered the visitors some hope with his highest List A score of 77 (67 balls, three sixes, six fours), smashing the ball with some ferocity, and sharing a century stand with Lewis Goldsworthy (47). Rob Keogh’s spin however prompted a mini collapse as Somerset lost three wickets for eight runs in 12 balls. Sean Dickson (52) and Curtis Campher (49) put on 77 in seven overs but were left with too much to do, with Northamptonshire’s sharp fielding in marked contrast to their opponents. Keogh finished with figures of 4-49, his best in List A cricket.
Emilio Gay (30) had given Northamptonshire’s innings a strong foundation in the powerplay with an opening partnership worth 63, hitting six boundaries before he played Shoaib Bashir straight to mid-on.
Shaw found another partner in Ricardo Vasconcelos (47) with the pair sharing a stand of 112 in 16.3 overs. They targeted Curtis Campher, taking 18 off one over, Vasconcelos taking Northamptonshire past 150 by hooking him for six.
Shaw duly brought up his century off 81 balls, slowing slightly as Goldsworthy extracted some turn. He soon found his feet against Brooks, as the former Steelbacks bowler conceded 19 off one over.
Sam Whiteman hit a six and five fours in a run-a-ball 50, but otherwise played second fiddle to Shaw as they put on 194 in 18.3 overs. They brought up Northamptonshire’s 200 in the 32nd over and motored to 300 in the 39th before Whiteman chopped on off Danny Lamb.
Tom Taylor was run out after being dropped first ball – the first of four wickets to fall for two runs as Northamptonshire lost three batters to catches while attempting to force the pace, giving Brooks three consolation scalps.
Shaw started the final over with six down the ground, but his long stay finally ended when he holed out off Lamb and left to a standing ovation.
Thomas fell attempting to pull a short ball from Taylor, but Umeed was in good touch, pulling Jack White for six and hitting Simon Kerrigan for two huge sixes, one into the top of the Spencer Pavilion and one which flew over the top. His downfall came when he was trapped in front by Keogh, attempting to sweep.
Goldsworthy who had played the junior partner, striking just four boundaries, chipped Keogh to long-off where Vasconcelos took a stunning catch. The spinner then collected his third scalp when he trapped the in-form James Rew lbw attempting a reverse sweep.
George Bartlett fell to Luke Procter for 13, but Dickson and Campher went on the offensive, trying to keep up with an ever-rising run rate. Dixon hit Kerrigan down the ground for six while Campher meted out similar treatment to Taylor before he fell to a fine boundary catch from James Sales off Taylor.
Lamb reverse swept Keogh for six but gave Taylor his third wicket when he was caught at wide mid-off. Dixon’s captain’s knock ended when he was caught in the deep and with it, Somerset’s last hope. The tail wagged vigorously but ultimately in vain.