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Most valuable hat-tricks

Hat-trick heroes

The List looks at heavyweight hat-tricks, measured in terms of the sum of the average of the batsmen dismissed

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

February 1, 2006

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Some statistics, like Bradman's average and the number of centuries Tendulkar has made are known to pretty much every cricket buff. But The List will bring you facts and figures that aren't so obvious, adding fuel to those fiery debates about the most valuable middle-order bat, and the most useless tailender. If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.



Glenn McGrath celebrates his hat-trick against West Indies at Perth © Getty Images
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Only 36 hat-tricks have occurred in 1783 Tests and a mere 20 in 2321 ODIs. They are rare events that trigger supreme adrenalin rushes, and apart from the wild excitement a hat-trick provides, it is of immense value to a team. But how do you measure a hat-trick's `value'? The List looks at heavyweight hat-tricks, measured in terms of the sum of the averages of the batsmen dismissed.

Irfan Pathan's hat-trick in the ongoing Test against Pakistan at Karachi was not just the first in the first over of a Test, it was also the highest in terms of total averages of the batsmen dismissed (130.18: Salman Butt 34.27, Younis Khan 46.04, Mohammad Yousuf 49.86). For sheer weight of runs, Glenn McGrath's three-in-three that included Sherwin Campbell, Brian Lara and Jimmy Adams (total runs 11,388) is the highest. McGrath's hat-trick was special because Lara was his 300th Test wicket and he had predicted reaching 300 wickets with the scalps of Campbell and Lara.

Frederick Spofforth was the first to perform this feat when his 13 for 110 helped Australia rout England by ten wickets at Melbourne in 1879. Taking a hat-trick is tough enough but to do it twice in a match is probably a once-in-a-blue-moon feat. Jimmy Matthews took hat-tricks in each innings (both on the same day) against South Africa at Old Trafford in 1912 and Tommy Ward was his third wicket on both occasions.

Apart from Matthews, Hugh Trumble and Wasim Akram are the only other bowlers to have taken a hat-trick on two occasions. Akram's hat-tricks came in consecutive Tests against Sri Lanka at Lahore and Dhaka during the Asian Test Championship in 1999. Trumble was the first of two bowlers to take a hat-trick in his last Test. The other was Geoff Griffin who became the first to take a hat-trick at Lord's in just his second Test. But in the course of the match, he was no-balled eleven times for throwing and never played another game.

Heavyweight Test hat-tricks
Bowler Batsmen dismissed Total avg/runs of batsmen Match
Irfan Pathan Butt, Younis, Yousuf 130.18/8489 Pak v Ind, Karachi, 2005-06
Glenn McGrath Capmbell, Lara, Adams 126.61/11388 Aus v WI, Perth, 2000-01
Damien Fleming Aamer Malik, Inzamam, Saleem Malik 125.16/5575 Aus v Pak, Rawalpindi, 1994-95
Harbhajan Singh Ponting, Gilchrist, Warne 119.77/5119 Ind v Aus, Kolkata, 2000-01
Wasim Akram Gunawardene, Vaas, Jayawardene 115.06/1377 Pak v SL, Dhaka, 1998-99

  • Click here for the whole list of Test hat-tricks
    Runs and averages include only matches upto when the hat-trick was taken.



    Fred Trueman became the third wicket of Geoff Griffin's hat-trick © The Cricketer International
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    Maurice Allom was the first to take a hat-trick on debut but his success meant another debutant's undoing. New Zealand were playing their first Test when Allom took three in three balls and finished with 5 for 38. He followed up with 3 for 17 in the second innings as England won by eight wickets.

    Akram and Mohammad Sami are the only bowlers to take hat-tricks in both Tests and one-day internationals. Akram has a remarkable total of four international hat-tricks, two each in Tests and ODIs. In fact, Pakistani bowlers have taken eight out of the 20 ODI hat-tricks (four at Sharjah), with Jalal-ud-Din taking the first against Australia at Hyderabad in 1982.

    In ODIs, Edo Brandes's hat-trick against England at Harare in 1997 remains the highest in terms of total average of the batsmen dismissed (117.39: Nick Knight 69.25, John Crawley 23.39, Nasser Hussain 24.75) while Aaqib Javed was the youngest (19 years and 81 days) to take a hat-trick when he dismissed Ravi Shastri, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar, all lbw, at Sharjah in 1991.

    Heavyweight ODI hat-tricks
    Bowler Batsmen dismissed Total avg/runs Match
    Edo Brandes Knight, Crawley, Hussain 117.39/493 Zim v Eng, Harare, 1996-97
    Aaqib Javed Shastri, Azharuddin, Tendulkar 94.94/5989 Pak v Ind, Sharjah, 1991-92
    Anthony Stuart Ijaz, Mohammad Wasim, Moin Khan 91.43/4933 Aus v Pak, Melbourne, 1996-97
    Wasim Akram Dujon, Marshall, Ambrose 58.66/2603 Pak v WI, Sharjah, 1989-90
    Brett Lee Otieno, Patel, Obuya 57.54/1783 Aus v Ken, Durban, 2002-03

  • Click here for the whole list of ODI hat-tricks
    Runs and averages include only matches upto when the hat-trick was taken.

    If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.

  • George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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    George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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