Playing against Sikkim at Rangpo, 16-year-old Jotin Pheiroijam Singh of Manipur took 9-69 in the first innings he bowled in First-class cricket – the fourth-best figures by an Indian debutant in the format.
Manipur were reduced to 56-6 at the picturesque Sikkim Cricket Association Ground after Langlonyamba Meitan Keishangbam opted to bat in a Ranji Trophy 2022/23 match. Ronald Longjam (41) and L Kishan Singha (42 not out) then lifted them to 186. Sikkim, 58-0 overnight, lost a wicket in the fourth ball of the innings when Pheiroijam had Arun Chhetri (41) caught by Kangabam Singh.
Pheiroijam – born in 2006 – kept striking at regular intervals thereafter. In fact, he took the first nine wickets of the Sikkim innings. At that stage, Sikkim were only three runs ahead, and Pheiroijam was in contention to become the first Indian and third overall to take all 10 wickets in an innings on First-class debut. The first two – Albert Moss (10-28 in 1889/90) and Fitz Hinds (10-36 in 1900/01) – achieved the feat over 12 decades ago.
Pheiroijam did play a hand in the 10th dismissal as well, but not by taking the wicket. He caught Anwesh Sharma off Rex Rajkumar to bring the Sikkim innings to an end, for 220. He finished with figures of 22-5-69-9, the 10th-best in the history of First-class cricket and the fourth-best by an Indian on debut.
The best figures by a First-class debutant in the Ranji Trophy are still Vasant Ranjane’s 9-35 in 1956/57, followed by Amarjith Singh’s 9-45 in 1971/72 and Sanjay Yadav’s 9-52 in 2019/20.
Best bowling figures on First-class debut
10-28: Albert Moss (for Canterbury v Wellington (Christchurch 1889/90)
10-36: Fitz Hinds (for AB St Hill’s XI v Trinidad (Port of Spain 1900/01)
9-29: James Lillywhite (for Sussex v Marylebone Cricket Club (Lord’s 1862)
9-35: Vasant Ranjane (for Maharashtra v Saurashtra (Khadakwasla 1956/57)
9-42: Walter Powys (for Cambridge University v Marylebone Cricket Club (Cambridge 1871)
9-45: Amarjith Singh (for Kerala v Andhra (Kunnur 1971/72)
9-52: Sanjay Yadav (for Meghalaya v Nagaland (Sovima 2019/20)
9-55: John Quilty (for South Australia v Victoria (Adelaide Oval 1881/82)
9-67: Henry Hay (for South Australia v Lord Hawke’s XI (Adelaide (Unley Oval) 1902/03)
9-69: Jotin Pheiroijam Singh (for Manipur v Sikkim (Rangpo 2022/23)
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