New South Wales 270 (Smith 76, Richardson 4-47) and 6 for 300 dec (Smith 127, Patterson 66) beat Western Australia 176 (Bancroft 76*, Starc 4-56) and 223 (S Marsh 91, Starc 3-41) by 171 runs
Mitchell Starc became the first bowler in nearly 40 years - and the first in Australia - to claim two hat-tricks in the same first-class match when he blasted out Western Australia's last three batsmen to claim outright points for New South Wales against Western Australia at Hurstville Oval.
Having gone wicketless in the second innings up to that point, Starc had Jason Behrendorff caught behind and then bowled David Moody with the last two balls of his 15th over, then returned to have Jon Wells caught at slip by the captain Steven Smith with the first ball of his 16th. This hat-trick followed another on day three of the Sheffield Shield match, when he had dismissed Behrendorff, Moody and Simon Mackin.
Starc's feat was the first instance since Amin Lakhani managed to do the same for a Combined XI against the Indian tourists in a match at Multan in 1978. Overall only seven other bowlers have taken two hat-tricks in the same match, and only one Australian T.J. Matthews doing so against South Africa at Manchester in 1912. Matthews' feat is also the only time two hat-tricks have been taken by a bowler in the same Test match.
Smith said that Starc's old-ball angle from around the wicket and reversing the ball away was fiendishly difficult to deal with for any batsman. He also complimented Hazlewood for his excellent rhythm throughout his first match back from injury.
"They've found it pretty hard for a long period of time, the shape that he gets, the angle that he creates when going so wide," Smith said. "It's difficult for batters, let alone tail-enders. To take two hat-tricks in a game ... most people are lucky to take one in their career. They're not easy to come by.
"I thought [Hazlewood] bowled like an absolute genius, he's a superstar. Starcy, I think, has probably taken a little more time to get going and get some rhythm. But the back end of today showed why he's world-class. Patty Cummins has had a couple of good games as well. They're up and going and bowling really well."
Starc and Cummins will rest from the final round of Shield matches before the first Ashes Test while Hazlewood will play against Queensland in Brisbane.
The sheer destructive power of Starc to obliterate an opposing tail, which had also been on show in the Blues' opening defeat of South Australia under lights at Adelaide Oval last week, meant that NSW always fancied their chances of winning on the final afternoon of the Shield match, despite a sparkling opening stand of 179 between Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft, who carried his bat for 76 in the first innings then followed up with 86 on the final day.
Both Marsh and Bancroft are contenders for Test spots in Australia's Ashes middle order, and their exits were followed by less fruitful results for Hilton Cartwright, who had played as an allrounder in the most recent Test played by Australia, against Bangladesh in Chittagong. Dismissal by Pat Cummins gave Cartwright a pair for the match in what was a case of horrid timing as selectors deliberate over their options for the Gabba Test.
Mitchell Marsh, the WA captain, also fell cheaply to Josh Hazlewood for the second time in the game, and from there it was a question of whether the Warriors could survive long enough to stave off defeat. Nathan Lyon gained a couple of vital - and contentious breakthroughs - winning an lbw verdict against Ashton Turner then having D'Arcy Short caught in close off what the umpire adjudged to be an inside-edge onto the pad.
Wells and Behrendorff took WA into the final hour of the match, before Starc arrived to seal the visitors' fate and his own lofty place in hat-trick history. England have been warned.