Hat-tricks are a rare thing in international cricket. It can be estimated by the fact that there have been only 62 hat-tricks at the international level in the 143-year long history of the sport. On this day in 1990, Wasim Akram took the 24th hat-trick in international cricket, fifth in ODI cricket and the second of his career, bowling against Australia in the Austral-Asia Cup final in Sharjah. We look back at some match-turning hat-tricks through YouTube:
At 230 for seven chasing 266, the chances of an Australian victory were slim but they were still fighting with their lower-order in the aforementioned Austral-Asia cup final. However, the 24-year old Wasim Akram, running in his penultimate over, crushed their hopes with his pin-point accuracy hitting the stumps of Merv Hughes, Carl Rackemann and Terry Alderman - Australia’s number 9, 10 and 11. Ian Healy, on the other end, was left stranded on 12 watching Akram nail his yorkers from around the stumps to get Hughes and Alderman while Rackemann was cleaned up by an incoming delivery.
As mentioned above, this was the fifth hat-trick in ODI cricket. The fourth one was also recorded by Akram, at the same venue seven months ago. He became the only fast bowler to claim two ODI hat-tricks at that point and before the turn of the century, he was the sole bowler with multiple hat-tricks in both ODI and Test cricket - a record which still stands.
(Video credits: Cric Chamber)
In one of the more recent hat-tricks, India’s Mohammed Shami ran through Afghanistan’s lower-order finishing off the opposition’s hopes of causing an upset in the 2019 World Cup. With 16 required off the final over and boundary from the first delivery by a well-set Mohammad Nabi, Shami stuck to his strengths by attacking the blockhole and operating with pace.
He got Nabi caught at long-on to bring India closer to the finish line and then rattled the stumps of the number 10 and 11 batsmen - Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman - with immaculate yorkers in excess of 140kph. The hat-trick made Shami only the second Indian bowler to achieve the feat in a World Cup. The right-arm pacer finished with the bowling figures of 4 for 40 in a close game which India won by 11 runs.
(Video credits: ICC)
Old is Gold
13 years ago, at the 2007 World Cup, Lasith Malinga became the first bowler to take four wickets in four consecutive deliveries. In 2019, aged 36, when fans wondered if the best of Slinga Malinga was beyond him, he snaffled four in four again to prove them wrong.
Having lost the series and defending only 125 seeking redemption in front of the home crowd, the veteran ran through New Zealand’s top-order in the blink of an eye. He first took out the left-handers, Colin Munro and Hamish Rutherford with inswinging deliveries (Munro’s wicket crowned him as the first bowler to pouch 100 T20I wickets). The hat-trick to Colin de Grandhomme was a trademark Malinga yorker clattering into the stumps followed by rapping Ross Taylor on the pads with a similar delivery. Malinga went on to pick another wicket in his next over claiming five wickets for 6. New Zealand collapsed to 25 for five and were eventually 88 all-out.
(Video credits: Sri Lanka Cricket)
The birthday boy
Peter Siddle’s effort on the opening day of the 2010/11 Ashes made him the only cricketer to pick a hat-trick on his birthday. A questionable selection for the match, Siddle gave Australia the opening day honours with scalps of Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad, derailing England to 260 all-out. The third wicket, which handed him a five-wicket haul as well, added to the drama paired up by the surfacing of the Decision Review System. While Mark Taylor in the commentary box was celebrating a birthday hat-trick, Mark Nicholas exclaimed, “Not yet, not yet” as Stuart Broad sent the decision upstairs. It was the first ever hat-trick intervened by DRS but thankfully for Siddle, the decision went his way.
He added one more to his tally to claim his career best figures of 6 for 54.
(Video credits: cricket.com.au)
Harbhajan’s magic at Eden
Harbhajan Singh’s hat-trick in the Kolkata Test in 2001 is one of the most celebrated moments in Indian cricket. For one, it was the first Test hat-trick by an Indian bowler after 69 years of Test cricket for the country. Secondly, it played a crucial part in one of the biggest Test wins in India’s Test history. While VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid hogged the limelight for their 375-run stand, Harbhajan’s hat-trick restricted Australia to 445 in the first innings after a healthy start. The off-spinner’s hat-trick victims included the scalps of Ricky Ponting, Adam Chilchrist and Shane Warne.
Bhajji picked seven wickets in the innings and added six more to his tally in the second innings, playing a key part in India’s resurgence from a precarious situation.
(Video credits: General Zod)