RECORD BOOK – International Twenty20’s first ‘trickster

  The first ever World T20 was held in South Africa back in 2007 – at that time it was taken as more of a hit-and-giggle fortnight of cricket, and indeed, it was unheralded India – just six months after their World Cup disaster – who took home the inaugural trophy, sparking off a T20 revolution. 

  Bangladesh had upset West Indies in the group stage of the tournament to ensure an entry into the Super 8, and were drawn to meet world champions Australia at Cape Town in the first game of the second round. Australia themselves were upset by Zimbabwe in the league stage, and were lucky to sneak into the next round thanks to an easy win over England. After being put into bat, Bangladesh reached a safe 40/0 in the 7th over before the first wicket fell. Despite losing two more wickets, they looked good for a competitive score when placed at 108/3, in 16.2 overs – when the fiery Brett Lee decided to put himself in the record books.                                       

ImageBrett Lee celebrates his hat-trick at the 2007 World Twenty20 (source – t20worldcupcricket.com)

  Shakib Al Hasan tried to slash the third ball of the 17th over but it only went straight into Adam Gilchrist’s safe gloves behind the wicket. In came Mashrafe Mortaza, who was promoted to give a hopeful punch towards the end. The fourth ball of the over was pitched onto the stumps by Lee, and by the time Mortaza could get it away, he was cleaned up. Two in two for Lee. Alok Kapali came in to face the hat-trick ball (incidentally, himself a hat-trick taker as well as a hat-trick victim in Tests). He duly became a victim again, as Lee trapped him plumb in front – he could do no wrong in that over – to record the first ever hat-trick in Twenty20 internationals. Lee also became the first, and still the only, to record hat-tricks in world championships of two different formats – having already taken one against Kenya in the 2003 World Cup. 

  Bangladesh slid from 108/3 to 108/6 due to Lee’s record feat and struggled to just 123/8 eventually, losing 6/41 in the last 7 overs. The Australian openers Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist then went berserk, slamming 7 sixes among them in a stand of 104, as the Aussies surged to a 9 wicket win with 37 balls left. 

  No prizes for guessing who the player of the match was. Lee finished with 3/27, and was later joined by New Zealanders Jacob Oram (2009) and Tim Southee (2010-11) in the list of T20 international hat-tricks. However, he remains the only one to accomplish the feat in the World Twenty20 thus far. In the next edition of the tournament in 2009, Lee was taken for 95 in 8 overs in the two matches Australia played before being knocked out. He did not play in the 2010 edition.  

Match Scorecard – http://www.espncricinfo.com/twenty20wc/engine/match/287866.html

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