Shahbaz Nadeem bags 8 for 10 to break all-time List-A record

Shahbaz Nadeem celebrates a wicket AFP

A week ago, Shahbaz Nadeem was one of five bowlers sent to the UAE to help India prepare for the Asia Cup. Today, playing for Jharkhand against Rajasthan in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he returned figures of 10-4-10-8, the best ever figures in List-A cricket.

The previous best was Rahul Sanghvi's 8 for 15, for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh back in 1997-98.

Rajasthan were shot out for 73 in 28.3 overs, which Jharkhand chased down in 14.3 overs with seven wickets in the bag.

Nadeem struck at the end of the tenth over, when Rajasthan were 32 for no loss, and the wickets tumbled thereafter. His haul included a hat-trick spread across two overs, with Mahipal Lomror and Chetan Bist falling off the last two balls of his sixth over, and Tajinder Singh lbw off the first ball of his seventh.

He was on track to get all ten wickets, having taken the first eight. But Anukul Roy - the 19-year-old left-arm spinner - got the last two batsmen out, ironically thanks to Nadeem's own advice.

"People told me about the world record after the innings," Nadeem told ESPNcricinfo after the match on Thursday. "When I was bowling, I didn't even realise I had taken a hat-trick, because I got the first two wickets off the last two balls and then the third one off the first ball of my next over.

"I first thought of the possibility of getting all ten when I got my eighth wicket. But you get what is destined for you, so I was destined to get only eight today."

Nadeem was at peace with the missed opportunity, emphasising that the team getting off to a winning start - after their first match against Haryana on Wednesday was washed out - was paramount.

"No, I didn't think of it that way, that he [Anukul] denied me ten wickets. It's natural to feel a bit disappointed if you are close to getting all ten and you don't, but at the end the team won, so that was the main thing," Nadeem said. "In fact, I told Anukul to change his strategy while bowling to get the wicket. He was bowling it a little slower, and I told him that on this pitch, you needed to bowl it a bit quicker. There was a lot of turn on offer, so I told him to keep flighting the ball, but bowl it in such a way that it hits the surface a bit. After that if it turns, the batsman will be in trouble anyway, and if it goes straight, they can get bowled. I also told him to go a bit wider to create more of an angle, and it worked. He got the batsman [Rahul Chahar] bowled off the second ball of that over. There was some good-natured ribbing he got from the team on the field about denying me ten wickets, but all in good fun."

His stint in the Indian team's nets also played a part in getting Nadeem into his zone. "I have bowled to the Indian team before too, having been called up to the nets several times," he said. "It is always a good experience because when you bowl to quality batsmen, you know you have to keep bowling good balls, so it gets you into that rhythm. I had some good chats with Mahibhai [MS Dhoni] and Bharat Arun there. Mahibhai always has good advice, and he shares it with me often. It's more about field placements for particular types of bowling and to different batsmen.

"Yes, the weather conditions are vastly different [from Dubai to Chennai], but if you play domestic cricket in India, you get used to playing in a variety of conditions every week, so it was not too difficult to adjust."

Robin Bist, who made 15 for the third-highest score of Rajasthan's innings, said the conditions and Nadeem's skill made life tough for the batsmen. "It was a turning pitch, and we had to deal with a guy who's probably the best spinner in Indian domestic cricket right now," said Bist. "There was a marked difference in facing Nadeem at one end, and the rest at the other end. I wouldn't say we batted badly, there are talented youngsters in this team, but the combination of a turning pitch, Nadeem bowling, and our side being relatively inexperienced did it."

Curiously enough, this is the third time that Bist has been involved in a low-scoring domestic match that has made headlines. He was part of the Rajasthan team when debutant Deepak Chahar took 8 for 10 to rout Hyderabad for 21 all out in the 2010-11 Ranji Trophy. In between, he had moved to Himachal Pradesh, who were bowled out for 36 in 2016-17 against Hyderabad. On Thursday, he was at the receiving end of the best List-A bowling figures of all time. On that thought, Bist said: "This is what you call kismet."