The Hat and The Trick


A few days ago, we witnessed a special one-day international hat-trick from Taijul Islam and the role of destiny behind it. This time, we go down the memory lane and pick up three test hat-tricks, unique in its own kind, from the pages of Cricket history.

Hat-tricks are the one thing that can cause the calmest bowler to erupt in joy. Considered to be one of the rarest events in cricket, a hat-trick is indeed something a bowler will cherish for the rest of his life. Here we look back at three instances of the oddest Test hat-tricks ever: spanning across 2 separate innings. It always seems the game of chance has more in store for us than we can handle!

1. Courtney Walsh:

One of the greatest West Indian cricketers ever, it was a menacing sight for batsmen to see the duo of Walsh and Curtly Ambrose getting ready to deliver the ball. He took the first of the ‘broken’ hat-tricks (if we may say so).

In the 1988-89 Test series against Australia in Down Under, this event occurred in the first Test held at Brisbane. Walsh dismissed Tony Dodemaide as the last man out for the Aussies in their first innings. However, a strange phenomenon was in order, as Walsh removed Mike Veletta and Graeme Wood with his first two deliveries in the second innings. The score read 65 runs for 4 wickets, and Walsh had completed his hattrick.

The match was eventually won by West Indies with Curtly Ambrose adjudged Man of the Match.

Courteny Walsh, a name batsmen used to be afraid of
Courteny Walsh, a name batsmen used to be afraid of

2. Merv Hughes:

The same series was to see another such ‘broken’ hat-trick, in the 2nd Test held at Perth. The crowd’s favourite, Merv Hughes was the bowler this time. Famous for his imposing bowling and gigantic moustache, he completed a hat-trick across three separate overs spread out over 2 days!

Bowling in the first innings, the first of his victims was Curtly Ambrose, dismissed by Hughes with the last delivery of his 36th over. He then ended the West Indian innings with the first ball of his 37th over by picking up the wicket of Patrick Patterson.

His hat-trick came in the first delivery faced by the West Indians in their second innings, as Hughes trapped Gordon Greenidge leg-before wicket. Hughes had thus become the second bowler to take a hat-trick spanned across two innings, and that too in the same Test series!

Lawson celebrates after a wicket
Lawson celebrates after a wicket

3. Jermaine Lawson:

The last such instance also occurred in a West Indies-Australia clash, in the 3rd Test match played in Barbados. Cricket is sure funny.

Lawson quietly dismissed Brett Lee and Stuart MacGill off successive deliveries to end the Aussie innings, stopping the Australian run-piling up with 605 on board. What followed was a disappointing batting display from the West Indians, who failed to give a target of 10 runs to the Aussies (target was only 8 runs).

However, Lawson completed his hat-trick rather remarkably, by dismissing Justin Langer off the first ball in their second innings, giving the WI fans something to cheer about. Australia scored the 8 runs required without losing any more wickets and took an unsurmountable lead of 3-0 in the 4 match series.

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