On July 1, 1996, Kevan James achieved a rather extraordinary feat and India were at the receiving end. He became the first first-class cricketer to take 4 wickets in 4 balls and then followed it with a century in the same match.
In 1996, India were on a tour of England and this was the tour where Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid made their Test debuts for India. However, the side had to be at the receiving end of an unwanted record against Hampshire in one the practice games. On July 1, 1996, James became the first and only man to bag four wickets in four balls and then went on to cream a century in the same match. It is a record that stands till date.
It should be mentioned here that James accounted for Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in his amazing haul of wickets.
After managing to draw the second Test match at Lord’s, Indians were batting first in the practice game and got off to a superb start. The visitors were cruising at 192 for no loss on the first afternoon, as openers Ajay Jadeja and Vikram Rathour were marching on to their respective centuries. Jadeja was castled by James, and Ganguly walked in after this wicket. He added a 15-run partnership with Rathour before the latter chased a wide delivery off James and was stumped by Aymes.
Sachin Tendulkar was the next to perish, as he lobbed a length ball angled into his pads to the man placed at short leg. The collapse was well and truly on. James then trapped Rahul Dravid bang in front of the wickets to complete the hat-trick.
Sanjay Manjrekar walked out, he went on to chase a wide delivery and was caught by Paul Terry in what was just his first ball. India slumped from 207 for 1 to 207 for 5.
James then followed this effort with the bat with a century. Despite all these efforts, Kevan James was never able to make it to the England national side.