MUMBAI: "I swear I'll never hit another 400 in my life. Slogging on the field is way easier than posing!" joked 12-year-old Sarfraz Khan as he fatigue on the grass at Cross Maidan after the glut of cameras made him pose and pout with his gear on till they were sure they had had enough of him. The 12-year-old lad from Springfield Rizvi smashed his way into the record books when he scored 439 against a hapless Indian Education Society in the U-16 inter-school Harris Shield three-day match on Wednesday. Sarfaraz faced 421 balls and hit an incredible 12 sixes and 56 fours - which tots up to a near-triple century in only fours and sixes -- over two days. This is the highest score by an individual in the 113-year history of the holy grail of school cricket in the city, and with it Sarfaraz erased the previous mark of 422 by Sanjeev Jadhav of Shardashram Vidyamandir in 1986.
The Harris Shield is the same tournament that launched Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli, representing Shardashram, who strung a record 664-run alliance against St Xavier's in 1988. Incidentally, Tendulkar's 329 and Kambli's 349 rank among the top ten in the tournament's history. Interestingly, the Rizvi total of 750-9 declared in 122 overs was a notch higher than what Tendulkar and Kambli's team amassed (748-2 in 120 overs).
Resuming at his overnight score of 225, the spangle-eyed Sarfaraz walked in with a message - 300. The only time the Std VI lad took his eyes off the ball was to take in the numbers coach Raju Pathak was putting together on his fingers, indicating his next target. "I am a complete target person. You tell me you want this and I'll give it to you. Once I touched my triple century, word came in about Sachin Tendulkar's mark of 358. That conquered, I managed 400 and that's when the record came into the picture. I was thrilled to bits."