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The 88-year-old Ranji Trophy opening was dominated by Jaydev Unadkat, who sent five Delhi batsmen back without scoring, bringing the score down to 10/7.

Jaydev Unadkat

Jaydev Unadkat, whose international career was given a fresh lease of life with a dramatic comeback against Bangladesh, began the year 2023 with a bang in a Ranji Trophy Group C encounter against Delhi in Rajkot on Tuesday. His performance helped Delhi win the match. He became the first player in the 88-year history of the Ranji Trophy to complete a hat-trick in the opening over.

Jaydev Unadkat changed the course of cricket history when he became the first player in Ranji Trophy history to take a hat-trick in the opening over of a match. The skipper of Saurashtra, whose international career was given a new lease of life with a dramatic return against Bangladesh, began 2023 with a bang in a Ranji Trophy Group C encounter in Rajkot on Tuesday. His comeback against Bangladesh gave his career a new lease of life. Due to obligations with India, Unadkat was unable to play for Saurashtra in their first two matches of the season; nonetheless, the left-arm fast bowler made an impression like he had never made before in his first red-ball cricket outing of the season.

In the face of Unadkat’s expertise

 Delhi, who are suffering from the absence of many members of their first-team cricket squad owing to injury, were bewildered. After the tourists made the decision to bat first in the encounter, the left-arm bowler quickly removed Dhruv Shorey from the game with the third ball of the contest. Shorey was the in-form batsman for Delhi and the current top scorer of this season. As Unadkat completed his hat trick, Vaibhav Rawal and Yash Dhull, the captain of Delhi, were run out for golden ducks. Unadkat went on to score three wickets. While this was happening, Rawa edged the ball to the keeper Harvik Desai, and Dhull was caught just in front of the wickets. The previous record for completing a hat-trick in the Ranji Trophy in the shortest amount of time belongs to Karnataka’s Vinay Kumar, who did it between the first and third overs.

Unadkat wasn’t done. After a fantastic first over that stunned Delhi, the veteran of 97 first-class matches struck again in his next over to secure a five-wicket haul in his second over. This was the 21st five-wicket haul of his sparkling first-class career. In this over, Jonty Sidhu scored four runs, while Lakshay Thareja, who was making his debut, scored one.

There was no relief for Delhi from the other end as Chirag Jani removed debutant Ayush Badoni for a three-ball duck in the middle of Unadkat’s mayhem. Chirag Jani then dismissed Unadkat. At the conclusion of the third over, Delhi had reached the score of 5/6.

The only over in the match in which no wickets were lost occurred during Jani’s second over

 it would continue to be that way at least until the fifth over, when Unadkat took out Lalit Yadav during his third. The score on the board for Delhi was just 10 runs, but they lost seven wickets. As many as five of their top six hitters were out without reaching base safely, and Unadkat was responsible for the loss of four of those batters.

It is a blessing that Pranshu Vijayran and Hrithik Shokeen were able to handle the downturn and somehow prevent Delhi from the humiliation of scoring the lowest total in Ranji Trophy history, which was 21 by Hyderabad against Rajasthan in 2010-11.

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