JAIPUR: Gujarat's 26-year-old opening batsman Samit Gohel on Tuesday broke a 117-year-old record in first-class cricket by notching up the highest score while carrying his bat through the innings of 359 not out during his team's Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Odisha.
While Hanif Mohammed's epic 499 remains the highest score by an opener in first-class cricket, no one has scored more than Gohel while remaining not out in his team's score of 641 here.
Gohel in fact eclipsed the previous best of 357 by Surrey's Bobby Abel against Somerset way back in 1899 at the Kensington Oval ground.
Gohel's 723-ball-knock had 45 boundaries and a six but the shy boy from Gujarat's dairy hub Anand was very unassuming. While the match was dead as a contest on final day but nothing can take away from his effort.
"I did not know it was a World Record. The idea was to bat as long as possible. Coach sir (Vijay Patel) and Parthiv bhai (skipper Parthiv Patel) ne bola thaa lamba khelo. I just tried to do that. I am happy that I could bat this long. Obviously this is the greatest day of my life. I am actually still not able to express myself," the right-handed batsman told PTI after his knock.
His father Bhanubhai Patel is a real estate property dealer and till now Gohel is happy to call himself a "professional cricketer".
"My father has a small-time property business. Not very big. Till date, I have only concentrated on cricket. But yes, I am searching for a government job. I have applied for sports quota job in Income Tax department as well as Dena Bank. Let's see what happens," said Gohel, who lives with his parents and wife.
"Actually, I have not yet been able to call my family and inform them about the world record," said Gohel, who is the first triple centurion opener in last 81 years in first-class cricket to carry his bat through.
One of his teammates Priyank Panchal has been the top scorer in this season's Ranji Trophy and Gohel said Panchal has been an inspiration for him.
For the record, Gujarat made it to the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy.