Cricket Bizarre (Part 3) : How destiny preserved the unique record for Taijul Islam


Our Cricket Bizarre series came with the story of an unfortunate Misbah-ul-Haq in the first part and it was followed by the story of three unique records currently held by three Pakistani players in the second part.

In this part of our Cricket Bizarre series, we are going to discuss a recent record that took place only the other day. 43 years of one-day cricket and no bowler ever got a hat-trick on his debut, until the last one-day international of the recently concluded Bangladesh-Zimbabwe series. On 1st December, 2014, Taijul Islam, playing his first ever ODI, achieved the unique feat and thereby helped his country secure their second 5-0 series win. For the record, in tests, three bowlers including Peter Petherick and Damien Fleming grabbed a hat-trick on their debut.

It all started in the 27th over of the Zimbabwe innings when Taijul trapped Solomon Mire in front of the wicket and claimed his first wicket. Four balls later, an usual arm ball found the big gap between Tinashe Panyangara’s pad and bat and knocked the stumps over. But, no one had the clue that he was about to complete his hat-trick in the next over. It was John Nyumbu who became the next victim in the first ball of the 29th over. Nyumbu went on the back foot and a flatter delivery from Islam struck his pads right in front of the stumps. The crowd sensed right away that something special is about to happen. And it did! Tendai Chatara, the new man in, swung his bat leaving the wickets unprotected and the ball found its target.

Taijul became the fourth Bangladesh bowler to take a hat-trick, after Shahadat Hossain, Abdur Razzak and Rubel and recorded his name on the book as the first ever bowler to get a hat-trick on his debut.

But this story is not solely about Taijul Islam and his achievement. This is about how the God of Cricket (if there is one) decided long ago that this record should belong to a Bangladesh bowler.

Let us go back nine years in time when Bangladesh were visiting England to play the Natwest Series. It was the fourth match of the series and England took on Bangladesh. Opting to bat first, England, thanks to centuries from Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwoood, piled up 391 runs with ease. The visitors never looked comfortable from the start and started meekly against Jon Lewis and Chris Tremlett, who was playing his first ever one-day international.

Bangladesh managed only 29 runs in the first 9 overs and Tremlett started the next one. Javed Omar took a single off the first ball of the over. Shahriar Nafees, the other opener, took his stance in the next ball and a venomous delivery from the fast bowler broke his stumps right away. That was Tremlett’s first wicket in ODI and he got the next one in the very next ball when Tushar Imran edged a shortish delivery to the keeper.

The whole crowd were on their feet, shouting at the top of their voices; England captain set an extremely attacking field for new man Mohammad Ashraful; with four slips, one leg-gully, a short cover and Tremlett were on his run-up to set the record. It was a short delivery, defended by Ashraful and then, Tremlett was almost jumping in the air when he saw that the ball is going to land on the stumps. But, the celebrations could not last more than a few seconds. The ball bounced on to the bails and off again, without ever dislodging them, and thus, he was denied the unique record of becoming the first debutant to claim a hat-trick.

Probably it was destined to be a Bangladesh bowler. Isn’t it? Watch the unfortunate incident for Chris Tremlett below.

You may also like our Tennis Bizarre series: Read part 1 here, Read part 2 here

Photo by monsoon_wind_dhaka