With Hardik Patel grabbing the limelight, it is good to see another Patel doing something more constructive such as helping India A to win an unofficial Test against South Africa A – even if it was a ground deep in the forests of Kerala far from any city.
Until now he has been considered more of a fringe player despite having played over 20 ODIs and T20Is without doing anything memorable, though he is remembered more for the X in his first name.
His 4 wickets for none helped reduce his opponents to 76 all out, giving India A an innings victory as well as a series victory. He had earlier taken 5-92 and scored 69 not out in the same match.
Four wickets for none gives him a share in the world record for the best 4-wicket record, which was also achieved by 8 others including Lala Amarnath (who was 47 years old at the time).
This was a fairly respectable South Africa A side which included 7 Test players and 2 others who had played in T20Is until then.
It is also interesting to see the best 4-wicket hauls in Tests, especially when the record is held by a relatively unknown player from one of the minor Test teams. The second and the third on the list had reasonable Test careers but are forgotten now. And Appleyard’s 4-7 was the key to New Zealand’s unwanted record of 26 all out, while Dilshan added centuries in both innings to his 4-10.