November 14, 2011

Three-act plays

Players who have achieved unusual hat-tricks
30

Chaminda Vaas
You can't do much more than take wickets with the first three balls of the match, and that's what Vaas did to kickstart Sri Lanka's World Cup encounter with Bangladesh in Pietermaritzburg in 2003. Hannan Sarkar was bowled, Mohammad Ashraful popped back a simple return catch, and Ehsanul Haque edged to second slip. "Vaas's celebration was appropriately wild," reported Wisden, "he looked like an aeroplane piloted by a drunkard. He took another wicket with his fifth legal ball (after a boundary and a wide), and Bangladesh were reeling at 5 for 4 by the end of the first over. The earliest hat-trick in a Test is Irfan Pathan's, against Pakistan in Karachi in 2005-06, when he struck with the fourth, fifth and sixth balls of the first over of the match.

William Clarke
Clarke was an early cricketing entrepreneur, assembling and promoting an "All England XI" that played lucrative matches around England during the 19th century, before county cricket really took hold. And Clarke, despite having only one eye, was also a handy bowler: in Canterbury in 1844 he took a hat-trick that is believed to be unique in first-class cricket. Spread over two innings, it included the same batsman (Kent's John Fagge) twice.

Courtney Walsh
In more than 110 years and 1100 Tests up to 1988-89, there had been only 17 hat-tricks - and none of them had been spread over two innings, until West Indies' Walsh dismissed Tony Dodemaide to end Australia's first innings in the first Test in Brisbane, then ripped out Mike Veletta and Graeme Wood with his first two deliveries in the second innings.

Merv Hughes
In the very next Test after Walsh's inaugural split-innings hat-trick, the rumbustious Hughes came up with an even more complicated one, which was actually spread over three overs. In the second Test against West Indies in Perth in 1988-89, he dismissed Curtly Ambrose with the last ball of his 36th over, then (after another wicket had fallen at the other end) polished off the innings by removing Patrick Patterson with the first ball of his next over, to finish with 5 for 130. Then, with the first ball of West Indies' second innings, Hughes trapped Gordon Greenidge plumb in front, and went on to take 8 for 87. Actually the hat-trick was so unusual that Hughes didn't immediately realise he'd taken one, and had to be told about it later.

Maurice Allom
An unusual mixture of fast bowler and jazz saxophonist, the tall Surrey fast bowler Allom started what turned out to be a brief Test career in spectacular fashion, taking a hat-trick - and four wickets in five balls - for England in Christchurch in 1929-30, as New Zealand, in their inaugural Test match, lurched to 21 for 7.

Damien Fleming
Usually a bowler on a hat-trick has the luxury of knowing that the man who has to face the vital third ball is nervous, having just padded up quickly and being about to face his very first ball. But that wasn't the case with Australia's Fleming in Rawalpindi in 1994-95: he removed Aamer Malik and Inzamam-ul-Haq with the last two balls of an over, and when he started his next one the batsman at the other end was no rabbit blinking into the headlights but Pakistan's captain Saleem Malik, who already had 237 to his name. It didn't matter: Malik tickled a catch to Ian Healy, and Fleming had marked his Test debut with a hat-trick, like Maurice Allom (see above) and New Zealand's Peter Petherick (in 1976-77) before him.

Tony Lock
The seasoned England slow left-armer Lock took a hat-trick for Leicestershire against Hampshire in Portsmouth in May 1967, which was unique at the time. He dismissed Butch White and Bob Cottam with his last two balls in the first innings, then bowled Danny Livingstone with his first ball in the second innings the following day. Since this was one of the first County Championship matches to include Sunday play, Lock became the first man to complete a hat-trick in a first-class match in England on a Sunday.

Aaqib Javed
The Pakistan fast bowler Aaqib Javed took a memorable hat-trick against India in the Wills Trophy final in Sharjah in October 1991, first dismissing Ravi Shastri then removing Mohammad Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar with his next two balls. Aaqib didn't need any help from the fielders... but he needed some from the umpire, Udaya Wickremasinghe from Sri Lanka, as all three men were given out lbw.

Geoff Griffin
The only man to take a Test hat-trick at Lord's, South Africa's Griffin should have savoured every moment of that 1960 match. But before he removed Mike Smith (for 99), Peter Walker and Fred Trueman with successive balls towards the end of England's innings, Griffin had already been no-balled for throwing 11 times - and he was called again during the supposedly light-hearted exhibition match that followed England's heavy victory. Griffin, who had only just turned 21, never played another Test match.

Jack Russell
Gloucestershire's wicketkeeper Russell pulled off a different sort of hat-trick against Surrey at The Oval in 1986, taking catches off three successive balls - the first off Courtney Walsh and the next two from David "Syd" Lawrence. It was only the third known instance of a wicketkeeper's hat-trick in first-class cricket: one of Russell's Gloucestershire predecessors, William Brain, managed three stumpings off successive balls from legspinner Charlie Townsend against Somerset in Cheltenham in 1893, and George Dawkes of Derbyshire held three successive catches off Les Jackson against Worcestershire in Kidderminster in 1958. That last one might have confused a few spectators: Jackson's obituary in Wisden 2008 noted that "Dawkes looked not unlike him. An elderly lady in Southampton once tried to bash Dawkes with her brolly after Jackson hit Vic Cannings of Hampshire."

Lasith Malinga
The only man to take three hat-tricks in one-day internationals, the explosive Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga shook up the South Africans in the 2007 World Cup with four wickets in four balls in Providence, the only instance of that in international cricket. His second hat-trick also came in the World Cup, against the overmatched Kenyans in Colombo earlier this year. His final victim there was completing an unwanted hat-trick of his own: spinner Shem Ngoche faced three balls in the 2011 World Cup and was dismissed by all of them. Malinga's third hat-trick came against Australia in August, also in Colombo.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2011.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • arpzzz on November 17, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Where is Great Wasim Akram in this list? he took hattrick in both tests and ODI format. How can you Miss him? Recently current England team is included among greatest test teams in a CricInfo article(without their series win in India, Sri lanka,Pakistan,SA). Now , they dont mention about Wasim Akram in 3 -ACT play.

  • on November 16, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    Where is Jacob Oram's hat trick against Sri lanka in T20. It was so unusual that both he, scorers and even cricinfo staff covering the match didnt know its hat trick until mails came acknowledging this achievement

  • on November 15, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    The only way that man Wasim Akram could've been out of a list of hat-tricks - is that it had to be "unusual" .. LOL! The only man to have multiple hat-tricks in both tests and ODIs, one of them all bowled. If Malinga is blasé about hattricks - what must be him?

  • SriN on November 15, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    @chiggers - LOL - look carefully - he is on the list :) though as a victim!

  • on November 15, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    The Griffin hat trick was even stranger as Smith was out off the last ball of the over and in the next over Walker reached his maiden Test 50 with a couple of sixes. It was therefore quite a time before Griffin's next over and not many on the ground realised the hat trick was in progress!

  • kensohatter on November 15, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    Article is entitled players who have achieved UNUSUAL hatricks.... Not players who have achieved any hatricks...although if this is the case Damien Flemings doesnt seem that unusual just unlucky that the third batsmen was well set. For me the most impressive hatricks are always the ones that include three accomplished batsmen so Pathans dismisal of Butt, Khan and Yousef looks the most impressive in test matches follwed by McGraths - Campell, Lara, Adams

  • vk6848 on November 15, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Is it possible to Rate hat-tricks by 'batsmen strength'? After all a hat-trick of tailenders does not compare with one of top order batsmen. It looks as if Aaqib Javed's Shastri/Azarudhin/Tendulkar is unbeatable but then Damien Fleming's A Malik/Inzamam/S Malik was in a test match- Vasanth Kumar

  • Matt.J13 on November 15, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    How about Peter Siddle, who took a Test hat-trick on his birthday? I don't think anyone else has done that.

  • rawr94 on November 15, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    what about the sri lankan guy in the t20 world cup last year or 2009? he took a hat trick off 2 legal deliveries

  • crikkfan on November 14, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    What about Chetan Sharma's hattrick ?? All the three victims from New Zealand were clean bowled! Any one else had this distinction?

  • arpzzz on November 17, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Where is Great Wasim Akram in this list? he took hattrick in both tests and ODI format. How can you Miss him? Recently current England team is included among greatest test teams in a CricInfo article(without their series win in India, Sri lanka,Pakistan,SA). Now , they dont mention about Wasim Akram in 3 -ACT play.

  • on November 16, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    Where is Jacob Oram's hat trick against Sri lanka in T20. It was so unusual that both he, scorers and even cricinfo staff covering the match didnt know its hat trick until mails came acknowledging this achievement

  • on November 15, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    The only way that man Wasim Akram could've been out of a list of hat-tricks - is that it had to be "unusual" .. LOL! The only man to have multiple hat-tricks in both tests and ODIs, one of them all bowled. If Malinga is blasé about hattricks - what must be him?

  • SriN on November 15, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    @chiggers - LOL - look carefully - he is on the list :) though as a victim!

  • on November 15, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    The Griffin hat trick was even stranger as Smith was out off the last ball of the over and in the next over Walker reached his maiden Test 50 with a couple of sixes. It was therefore quite a time before Griffin's next over and not many on the ground realised the hat trick was in progress!

  • kensohatter on November 15, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    Article is entitled players who have achieved UNUSUAL hatricks.... Not players who have achieved any hatricks...although if this is the case Damien Flemings doesnt seem that unusual just unlucky that the third batsmen was well set. For me the most impressive hatricks are always the ones that include three accomplished batsmen so Pathans dismisal of Butt, Khan and Yousef looks the most impressive in test matches follwed by McGraths - Campell, Lara, Adams

  • vk6848 on November 15, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Is it possible to Rate hat-tricks by 'batsmen strength'? After all a hat-trick of tailenders does not compare with one of top order batsmen. It looks as if Aaqib Javed's Shastri/Azarudhin/Tendulkar is unbeatable but then Damien Fleming's A Malik/Inzamam/S Malik was in a test match- Vasanth Kumar

  • Matt.J13 on November 15, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    How about Peter Siddle, who took a Test hat-trick on his birthday? I don't think anyone else has done that.

  • rawr94 on November 15, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    what about the sri lankan guy in the t20 world cup last year or 2009? he took a hat trick off 2 legal deliveries

  • crikkfan on November 14, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    What about Chetan Sharma's hattrick ?? All the three victims from New Zealand were clean bowled! Any one else had this distinction?

  • george204 on November 14, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    How about Bruce French's infamous hat trick of injuries? On the '87/88 tour of Pakistan he was hit on the head by a stray ball (thrown back by a spectator), then while walking across the hospital grounds to get the injury stitched, he was knocked down by a car, then when he got up from the operating table he bashed his head on the overhead lamp!

  • JFAB on November 14, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    May I politely offer TJMatthews (1912 Aus vs SA) for his two hat-tricks in one match (one in each innings) which I think he achieved all in one day - including one batsman common (Ward) to both hat-tricks. As an aisde Steven - can you find out the batsman most involved in hat tricks? (especiallyas the third wicket to fall)

  • on November 14, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    @suraj.wasim took two hat-tricks in tests and two in ODI's.@xolile. it would have been better had you posted a link of this series as well. zoysa took the hat-trick in HIS first over and the second over of the match, here is the link to the match http://tinyurl.com/c6ptw9f Neil Wagner's hat-trick was a real unique one (5 wkts in 6 balls) so it should have been included.

  • chiggers on November 14, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Go on, I'll get it out of the way - why is Sachin Tendulkar not in this list?

  • AdilAmirAli on November 14, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    @Rosh1 Steve is right Zoysa's hat-trick was from the first three balls of his 1st over he delivered in the Test ( 2nd over of the test match ) and Pathan took his hat-trick in the last three balls of first over of the Test. So the earliest hat-trick in a Test is Irfan Pathan's

  • 9ST9 on November 14, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Nuwan Zoysas hatrick came in the 2nd over of the match which was his first. Vass bowled the 1st over. At that time (1999) this was the Earliest Hatrick but not anymore Here's the FOW btw : 1-0 (Gripper, 1.1 ov), 2-0 (Goodwin, 1.2 ov), 3-0 (Johnson, 1.3 ov)

  • on November 14, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    wasim akram was also a hatrick king, i think he took 3 in tests and 1 on ODI

  • on November 14, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    Whaddbout Neil Wagner's very recent hattrick when he finished with 5 wickets in the over, all bowled.

  • on November 14, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    How about Jacob Oram's T20 one against Sri Lanka? No one even knew he had got one, he didn't find out until after the game!

  • CricketPissek on November 14, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    @Rosh1 & Co. - Zoysa got wickets off HIS first 3 balls of the match. Vaas bowled the first over before this happened, so Pathan's hattrick is still the earliest in a match.

  • turingfan on November 14, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    I'd include Mike Procter in a domestic 1-day getting a hat trick with Gordon Greenidge and Barry Richards. Amazing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9WKSiG4qdA

  • VijuK on November 14, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    How about Chetan Sharma in WC1987 vs NZ? All 3 were bowled, different stumps each time. Also, first instance of hatrick in a WC!

  • BellCurve on November 14, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Eddie Barlow took a hat-trick in the 1970 Test series between the Rest of the World and England. He proceeded to take a fourth wicket in the next two deliveries to make it 4 wickets in 5 balls. Unfortunately for him the Test status of these matces were later revoked. In this five-match series Sir Garfield Sobers scored 588 runs at an average of 73.50 and took 21 wickets at 21.52 a piece. Barlow scored 353 runs at an average of 39.22 and took 20 wickets at an average of 19.80. Mike Procter scored 292 runs at an average of 48.66 and took 15 wickets at 23.93. Clive Lloyd scored 400 runs at an average of 50.00 and took 6 wickets at 20.00 a piece. Thanks to these amazing all-round performances by these four giants of the game England was absolutely demolished. Mabye that's why the ICC (back then dominated by Englishmen) changed the status of the series? As a result Barlow lost his Test hat-trick and Sobers lost 588 Test runs and 21 Test wickets.

  • FatBoysCanBat on November 14, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    Come on guys, it is called "ESPNcricinfo XI: Players who have achieved unusual hat-tricks", not 'every unusual hat-trick ever'. So obviously not every hat-trick that people perceive to be unusual will appear in the list. This is just the authors compilation of eleven unusual hat-tricks.

  • indianzen on November 14, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    where is harbajan singh ?

  • Rosh1 on November 14, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Dear Steve!! You got it wrong this time. The earliest hat-trick in Test cricket was by Nuwan Zoysa (Sri Lanka) where he took 3 wickets in the first 3 balls of the match against Zimbabwe in 1999 in Harare. The wickets he took was of Trevor Gripper, Murray Goodwin and Niel Johnson (Wikipedia).

  • on November 14, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    I think you're forgetting Nuwan Zoysa here. As far as I remember, he took a hat-trick in the first 3 balls of the match, right?

  • smalishah84 on November 14, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Wasn't it unusual that Wasim Akram got hattricks in successive games against SL???

  • on November 14, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    How can one miss Wasim Akram , with 4 International hatricka, and probably the bowler with the most two wickets in two balls.

  • chandau on November 14, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Didnt Nuwan Zoysa take a hatrick in the first over against Zimbabwe? I recall there was a problem with the signals and the TV coverage was lost to Sri Lanka.

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  • chandau on November 14, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Didnt Nuwan Zoysa take a hatrick in the first over against Zimbabwe? I recall there was a problem with the signals and the TV coverage was lost to Sri Lanka.

  • on November 14, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    How can one miss Wasim Akram , with 4 International hatricka, and probably the bowler with the most two wickets in two balls.

  • smalishah84 on November 14, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Wasn't it unusual that Wasim Akram got hattricks in successive games against SL???

  • on November 14, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    I think you're forgetting Nuwan Zoysa here. As far as I remember, he took a hat-trick in the first 3 balls of the match, right?

  • Rosh1 on November 14, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Dear Steve!! You got it wrong this time. The earliest hat-trick in Test cricket was by Nuwan Zoysa (Sri Lanka) where he took 3 wickets in the first 3 balls of the match against Zimbabwe in 1999 in Harare. The wickets he took was of Trevor Gripper, Murray Goodwin and Niel Johnson (Wikipedia).

  • indianzen on November 14, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    where is harbajan singh ?

  • FatBoysCanBat on November 14, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    Come on guys, it is called "ESPNcricinfo XI: Players who have achieved unusual hat-tricks", not 'every unusual hat-trick ever'. So obviously not every hat-trick that people perceive to be unusual will appear in the list. This is just the authors compilation of eleven unusual hat-tricks.

  • BellCurve on November 14, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Eddie Barlow took a hat-trick in the 1970 Test series between the Rest of the World and England. He proceeded to take a fourth wicket in the next two deliveries to make it 4 wickets in 5 balls. Unfortunately for him the Test status of these matces were later revoked. In this five-match series Sir Garfield Sobers scored 588 runs at an average of 73.50 and took 21 wickets at 21.52 a piece. Barlow scored 353 runs at an average of 39.22 and took 20 wickets at an average of 19.80. Mike Procter scored 292 runs at an average of 48.66 and took 15 wickets at 23.93. Clive Lloyd scored 400 runs at an average of 50.00 and took 6 wickets at 20.00 a piece. Thanks to these amazing all-round performances by these four giants of the game England was absolutely demolished. Mabye that's why the ICC (back then dominated by Englishmen) changed the status of the series? As a result Barlow lost his Test hat-trick and Sobers lost 588 Test runs and 21 Test wickets.

  • VijuK on November 14, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    How about Chetan Sharma in WC1987 vs NZ? All 3 were bowled, different stumps each time. Also, first instance of hatrick in a WC!

  • turingfan on November 14, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    I'd include Mike Procter in a domestic 1-day getting a hat trick with Gordon Greenidge and Barry Richards. Amazing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9WKSiG4qdA