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  5. Jalaj Saxena continues to bang on doors of India selection with record-breaking display in Ranji Trophy

Jalaj Saxena continues to bang on doors of India selection with record-breaking display in Ranji Trophy

Jalaj Saxena made his first-class debut for Madhya Pradesh against Kerala in Indore in December 2005. He now plays for Kerala and has featured in 138 first-class games.

Kumar Rupesh Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: February 12, 2024 17:40 IST
Jalaj Saxena celebrates a wicket with Sanju Samson.
Image Source : JALAJ SAXENA/INSTAGRAM Jalaj Saxena celebrates a wicket with Sanju Samson.

India's domestic stalwart Jalaj Saxena has continued his rich vein of form in the ongoing Ranji Trophy and bagged a nine-wicket haul against Bengal in an ongoing Elite game at St. Xavier's College Ground in Thumba, Kerala.

Jalaj, who is opening the innings for Kerala in the ongoing tournament, contributed with 40 runs in Kerala's first innings total of 363 and came back to the field to produce one of the finest spells of spin bowling ever recorded in the history of Ranji Trophy.

Jalaj scripted the fourth-best figures in the history of the tournament as claimed nine poles while conceding just 68 runs to demolish Bengal's batting order.

The Bengal batters had no answers to Jalaj's fiery spell and choked slowly as he strangulated them in his fine web and reduced Bengal to 180 all out in 51.1 overs.

Right-arm pacer Mattakandathil Dinesan Nidheesh was the only other Kerala bowler to snare a scalp other than Jalaj as he bagged the wicket of Ranjot Khaira.

Jalaj scored 37 in the second innings and will play a crucial role if Kerala are to win the game - their first of the tournament.

Bengal are chasing 449 runs to win and have nine wickets left to achieve the total on day four (the last day) of the game.

Significantly, the performance displayed by Jalaj is a testimony to his stellar record in the domestic circuit. The 37-year-old has picked 429 wickets at the first-class level and is the second-leading wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy history with 335 poles. Jalaj is only behind Shahbaz Nadeem of Jharkhand who has 348 wickets in 79 fixtures. 

The Indore-born is a more than capable batter and has aggregated 6613 runs in his first-class career at a handy average of 33.91. He has already scored 14 tons and 32 fifties at the first-class level.

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