Pacer Kulwant Khejroliya scripts history becomes third bowler to take four wickets in 4 balls in Ranji Trophy

In a striking display of fast bowling, Madhya Pradesh left-arm pacer Kulwant Khejroliya left spectators and players alike in awe with his exceptional performance on the last day of the sixth Ranji Trophy 2024 game held at Holkar Stadium in Indore. The clash between Madhya Pradesh and Baroda witnessed Khejroliya’s name being etched in the annals of cricket history. He delivered an extraordinary spell, securing 5 wickets for 34 runs, propelling his team to a commanding victory by an innings and 34 runs over Baroda.

The monumental moment of Khejroliya’s career came in the 95th over of Baroda’s second innings. After a morning that saw him wicketless for 11 overs, the tides turned dramatically in a span of four deliveries. One after another, Baroda’s batsmen fell before his precision bowling. Shashwat Rawat, Mahesh Pithiya, Bhargav Bhatt, and Akash Singh were sent back to the pavilion, succumbing to Khejroliya’s relentless attack on the second, third, fourth, and fifth deliveries of the over, respectively.

This incredible achievement placed Khejroliya among an elite group of bowlers, becoming only the third bowler in the rich history of the Ranji Trophy to take four wickets in four consecutive balls—a record previously held by Delhi’s Shankar Saini since 1988 and emulated by Jammu and Kashmir’s Mohammed Mudhasir in 2018.

Khejroliya’s feat also made him the third bowler from Madhya Pradesh to take a hat-trick in the Ranji Trophy after Hiralal Gaekwad and Ravi Yadav, and in doing so, Khejroliya became the 80th player to achieve a hat-trick in India’s premier domestic red-ball competition.

Prior to Khejroliya’s spellbinding performance, Baroda had shown resilience and were mounting a fightback. Following on with a substantial deficit of 322 runs, they found hope in Jyotsnil Singh’s valiant 83-run stand and Rawat’s well-crafted century. It seemed plausible that Baroda might erase the mammoth lead and compel Madhya Pradesh into a second batting innings. However, this resurgence was dramatically cut short by Khejroliya’s inspired spell, which saw Baroda’s innings collapse from a promising 255 for 5 to a disheartened 270 all out.

The left-arm pacer, who has the experience of playing for Delhi, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, brought his A-game when his team needed it the most. His lethal bowling at a critical phase of the game not only secured victory for Madhya Pradesh but also catapulted his team to the summit of the Elite Group D standings.

This match will be long remembered for Khejroliya’s spell, which was both devastating and decisive. Baroda, on the other hand, will reflect on a missed opportunity, having come so close to overturning a daunting first innings deficit.

As the dust settles on this encounter, and as Madhya Pradesh savors their third win in six matches, Kulwant Khejroliya’s extraordinary four-in-four will be recounted in the lore of Ranji Trophy’s most spectacular bowling performances for years to come. With such displays of superior cricketing abilities on the domestic scene, Khejroliya has certainly raised his stock and perhaps, has drawn the attention of national selectors who are always on the lookout for prospects capable of shining on the international stage.

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