5 hat-tricks which did nothing to help the team’s cause
Hat-tricks are hard to come by and are very uncommon in cricket. Apart from hitting immaculate line & lengths, luck also needs to favour the bowler in order for them to accomplish the feat. Most times, a hat-trick creates enough impact to break the backbone of the opposition’s batting lineup.
If a bowler scampers his way to a hat-trick, he is most likely to end up on the winning side. However, there have been instances when the bowler’s feat couldn’t fetch a victory for his team, which is pretty unfortunate from the bowler’s perspective.
As we move ahead, we take you through five instances when the stupendous accomplishment of bowlers, unfortunately, couldn’t quite guide their teams to glory.
#1 Irfan Pathan versus Pakistan - 2006
Pakistan team got a taste of Irfan Pathan’s vicious swing-bowling when India toured the nation for a 3-match Test series. In the first over of the third Test in Karachi, the Baroda-born pacer left Pakistan in shambles after picking up three of their big guns in successive balls.
Salman Butt, skipper Younis Khan and Mohammed Yousuf were bamboozled by Pathan as they all were left clueless against the left-arm bowler's spectacular spell of bowling. Butt poked tentatively at an away-going delivery and the ball found the edge of his bat.
Pathan followed it up with an in-swinging delivery that trapped Younis in front of the stumps. His hat-trick ball was an absolute peach as it snuck through the bat & bat of Yousuf and cannoned into the stumps. However, the hosts clawed their way back into the game on the back of some stern resistance from their batsmen.
Their pace-battery, involving the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammed Asif and Abdul Razzaq also picked up wickets at regular intervals to restrict India on both innings. India, eventually, were comprehensively defeated by their arch-rivals by 341 runs, but Irfan made a name for himself after the game.
#2 Steven Finn versus Australia- 2015
Australia and England locked horns in the second game of the 2015 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which was comprehensively won by the Aussies. However, Steven Finn gave his team something to cheer for when he nipped out three wickets in the last three deliveries of Australia’s innings.
Brad Haddin attempted to go downtown, but the ball flew off his bat’s outside-edge into the safe hands of Stuart Broad. Thereafter, Glenn Maxwell muscled an attempted Yorker down the ground, which was pouched cleanly by Joe Root.
Mitchell Johnson slapped the next ball down the throat of the mid-off fielder to give the Hertfordshire-born bowler his maiden hat-trick in international cricket. Finn gave away 71 runs, but also bagged a 5-wicket haul. Meanwhile, he also picked up the eighth hat-trick in the history of World Cup cricket.
Australia, aided by Aaron Finch’s ton, racked up 342 runs. England, barring James Taylor’s hard-fought 98 runs, were never in the contention to chase the target down. They huffed and puffed to 231 runs and were beaten by 111 runs.
#3 James Faulkner versus Sri Lanka- 2016
In the second ODI of Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka, James Faulkner dished out his maiden hat-trick in ODIs, which also turned out to be Australia’s second hat-trick against Sri Lanka in the 50-over format after Daniel Christian’s achievement in 2012.
He brought forth his skills and dismissed Kusal Perera, Angelo Matthews and Thissara Perera in consecutive deliveries. Kusal tried to reverse-sweep him and was pinned in front of the wickets. Angelo Matthews tried to clear the long-off boundary, but found Moises Henriques’ safe hands.
Thisara Perera couldn’t read Faulkner’s slower delivery and consequently, his stumps were shattered. Even after the left-armer’s brilliant display of death bowling, Sri Lanka posted a target of 289 runs for the Kangaroos to trace down.
Steve Smith’s men floundered big time during the chase and lost wickets way too frequently to garner any sort of momentum. Despite Matthew Wade’s fighting knock, Australia stumbled to a score of 206 runs and lost the game by 82 runs.
#4 Shane Bond versus Australia- 2007
During the second One-Day International of New Zealand’s tour of Australia, Bond gave a glimpse of his masterful capability to pick up wickets. Albeit Australia won the game by a mammoth 105 runs, Bond’s contribution with the ball didn't deserve to be overlooked.
During the first innings, he picked up a hat-trick in the 50th over, which restricted the Kangaroos from breaching the 300-run mark. He got rid of Cameron White, Andrew Symonds and Nathan Bracken to accomplish the feat.
White tried to heave the ball over mid-wicket, only to find Craig McMillan in the deep. Symonds threw the kitchen sink at Bond’s next delivery, but edged it into the gloves of Brendon McCullum. Bond cleaned up Nathan Bracken with a slower delivery, which fetched him the hat-trick.
Australia posted 290 runs for the Kiwis to trace down. New Zealand looked comfortable till the 31st over with the score at 161/3. Ross Taylor played an impressive hand of 84 runs, but post his dismissal, the Kiwis slumped to 184 all out.
#5 Lasith Malinga versus South Africa- 2007
Lasith Malinga displayed his prowess with the ball in a World Cup encounter against South Africa and nearly helped the Lankans snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Malinga picked up four wickets in four balls to infuse life into the game from nowhere.
In no time, Graeme Smith’s men collapsed from 206/5 to 207/9. Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis and Makhaya Ntini became Malinga’s victims during his jaw-dropping spell of fast-bowling. Pollock was totally foxed by an off-cutter that cannoned into the stumps.
Hall chipped his next slower-delivery into the hands of Upul Tharanga to give Malinga his second wicket. Kallis edged his next delivery to Kumar Sangakkara, which gave Malinga the hat-trick. Malinga didn’t stop there and went on to pick up his fourth wicket in the form of Ntini.
After the Proteas were set a modest target of 210 by the Lankans, they looked set to clinch victory till Malinga came and wreaked havoc in their lineup. Ever since that game, Malinga has carved a reputation for himself as a difficult bowler to dictate terms, especially in limited-overs cricket.
South Africa did eventually win the game.