SPECIALS – Test hat-trick peculiarities

1) Jimmy Matthews’ unique record

  Thomas James Matthews created a unique record when he became the first and till date, only player to take two hat-tricks in the same Test, and he took both on the second day. The Australian leg-break bowler achieved the feat against South Africa at Old Trafford during the 1912 triangular series. In the first innings, Matthews mopped up the last three batsmen – Roland Beaumont (bowled), Sid Pegler (LBW) and Tommy Ward (LBW). In the second innings, with South Africa following on 183 runs behind, Matthews took his second hat-trick, removing Herbie Taylor (bowled), Reginald Schwarz (caught and bowled) and, for the second time, Ward (caught and bowled). Australia coasted home by an innings and 88 runs and curiously, these were Matthews’ only wickets in the match (3/38 and 3/16). This was his third Test in a short eight-match career.

2) Trumble and Akram, the only other ones with two hat-tricks

  Besides Matthews, the only other bowlers to have taken two Test hat-tricks are Australian off-break bowler Hugh Trumble and Pakistani left-arm seamer Wasim Akram. Trumble took both his hat-tricks against England at Melbourne. In 1901-02, he dismissed John Gunn (caught), Arthur Jones (caught) and Sydney Barnes (caught and bowled) in the second innings to wrap up Australia’s 229-run win, his figures being 4/49. Then in 1903-04, he accounted for Bernard Bosanquet (caught), Pelham Warner (caught and bowled) and Dick Lilley (LBW) in the second innings en-route to 7/28, bowling Australia to a 218-run victory. Incidentally, Trumble did not bowl in the first innings.

  Akram meanwhile achieved his two hat-tricks within just nine days each other in 1998-99, both coming against Sri Lanka. At Lahore in an Asian Test Championship match which was eventually drawn, Akram took the wickets of Romesh Kaluwitharana (caught behind), Niroshan Bandaratilleke (bowled) and Pramodya Wickremasinghe (bowled) in the first innings, his 4/30 sparking a lower order collapse. A few days later in the final of the Championship at Dhaka, he indulged in a top-order collapse – removing Avishka Gunawardene (caught), nightwatchman Chaminda Vaas (bowled) and Mahela Jayawardene (caught) as he took 3/33; Pakistan winning easily by an innings and 175 runs.

z3440983573_cb701e19cf     Wasim Akram is congratulated by his team-mates after he took the first of his two hat-tricks against Sri Lanka in the Asian Test Championship in 1998-99 (source – flickr.com)

3) Hat-tricks on Test debut

  Back in 1929-30, English right-arm medium-fast bowler Maurice Allom became the first bowler to take a hat-trick on Test debut. In New Zealand’s first innings at Christchurch, Allom (5/38) scythed through the middle order and achieved his hat-trick by scalping Tom Lowry (LBW), Ken James (caught behind) and Ted Badcock (bowled). England won a low-scoring match by eight wickets. Allom only played five Tests in all. A New Zealander, off-break bowler Peter Petherick, repeated this feat when he took the wickets of Javed Miandad (caught), Wasim Raja (caught and bowled) and Inthikhab Alam (caught) in Pakistan’s first innings at Lahore in 1976-77. He was however costly during his 3/103, and Pakistan scored a comfortable six-wicket win.

  The third bowler to take a debut hat-trick was the Australian fast bowler Damien Fleming. In a high-scoring Test against Pakistan at Rawalpindi in 1994-95, Fleming (3/86) enlivened the proceedings in the second innings, where the hosts were following on 261 runs behind. His victims were Aamer Malik (caught), Inzamam-ul-Haq (LBW) and Salim Malik (caught behind). But thanks to Salim Malik’s 237, Pakistan were already safe and the match ended in a draw.

4) Hat-trick in the first over

  In 1999-00, Sri Lankan left-arm fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa took a hat-trick off the first three balls he bowled in the Test against Zimbabwe at Harare. It was the second over of Zimbabwe’s first innings, and from its first three deliveries, Zoysa (3/22) dismissed Trevor Gripper (LBW), Murray Goodwin (caught behind) and Neil Johnson (LBW) – all for golden ducks. Sri Lanka won by six wickets. Then against Pakistan at Karachi in 2005-06, Indian left-arm pace bowler Irfan Pathan (5/61) took a hat-trick off the fourth, fifth and sixth balls of his first over, which was also the very first over of the match. The victims were Salman Butt (caught), Younis Khan (LBW) and Mohammed Yousuf (bowled). This dream start was not enough though as India were routed by 341 runs.

5) The three-over hat-trick

Merv_Hughes_1442614c     Merv Hughes achieved his hat-trick against the West Indies at Perth in 1988-89 from three different overs (source – telegraph.co.uk)

  Australia’s moustachioed right-arm quick bowler Mervyn Hughes somehow managed to take a hat-trick off three deliveries in three different overs against the West Indies at Perth in 1988-89. To begin with, in the visitors’ first innings, Hughes (5/130) removed Curtly Ambrose (caught behind) off the last ball of his 36th over. Off the first ball of his next over, he dismissed Patrick Patterson (caught) which also happened to be the final wicket of the West Indies’ first innings. Then at the fag end of the third day, the West Indies started their second innings with a lead of 54. Off the very first ball of the innings, Hughes (this time a career best 8/87) completed his hat-trick by taking the wicket of Gordon Greenidge (LBW). He did not even realise that he had taken a hat-trick and had to be informed later. Hughes’ bag of thirteen was not enough as the West Indies won by 169 runs.

6) The birthday hat-trick

  The only bowler to take a hat-trick on his birthday is the Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle. To top it, he achieved the feat on the first day of the first Test of the 2010-11 Ashes at Brisbane. The three English batsmen who fell victim to Siddle (6/54) were opener Alastair Cook (caught), Matt Prior (bowled) and Stuart Broad (LBW). However England fought back admirably from this poor first-innings tart and drew the match before going on to win a historic series 3-1. Incidentally, the last victim Broad became the very next bowler after Siddle to take a Test hat-trick when he achieved the feat against India at Nottingham in 2011.

7) Hat-trick and century in the same Test

  In 2013-14, Bangladeshi off-spinner created history when he became the first man to take a hat-trick (the 40th and most recent) as well as score a century in the same Test. He achieved this rare accomplishment against New Zealand at Chittagong. In Bangladesh’s first innings, Gazi scored an unbeaten 101 batting at number eight to help his team gain a narrow 32-run lead. In New Zealand’s second innings, Gazi (6/77) removed Corey Anderson (LBW), Bradley-John Watling (caught behind) and Doug Bracewell (caught) off successive balls. Though the match was drawn, Gazi found his name in the record-books. Gazi also became the second man after Mike Procter to attain this ‘double’ of a hat-trick and a century in the same match twice – he had done so in a first-class game previously as well.

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