Pankaj Singh first medium-pacer to 400 Ranji Trophy wickets
Pankaj Singh is closing in on 100 Ranji Trophy matches. (Image courtesy: Instagtram)

Puducherry fast bowler Pankaj Singh became the 10th bowler in the history of Ranji Trophy to take 400 wickets and more, but what made the accomplishment even greater was the fact that the 33-year-old was the first medium-pacer to breach the mark.

The former Rajasthan pacer, who has been in hot form this season with three five-wicket-hauls and one 10-wicket match haul, joined the likes of spinners S Venkataraghavan, Sunil Joshi and Bishan Singh Bedi in the 400-wicket club when he dismissed Manipur opener Hardik Kanojia in the second innings of Round 8 match in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy. With 42 wickets from eight games, Pankaj is one of the top-10 leading wicket-takers this season.

Players Wickets
Rajinder Goel 637
S. Venkataraghavan 530
Sunil Joshi 479
Narendra Hirwani 441
BS Chandrasekhar 437
VV Kumar 418
Sairaj Bahutule 405
Bishan Singh Bedi 403
Pankaj Singh 403
Utpal Chatterjee 401

Earlier this season, Pankaj had registered a five-wicket-haul against Mizoram, which made him the only bowler with five-fors against 17 teams – the most in Ranji Trophy. He surpassed Joshi’s five-wicket-hauls against 16 sides.

Pankaj began his Ranji Trophy career in 2004 with Rajasthan and played for them for 14 years during which he took 361 wickets in 85 matches. Of the current crop of domestic medium-pacers, Karnataka bowler R Vinay Kumar, with 392 wickets in 104 matches, is next in line to go past 400 wickets.