A tale of two hat-tricks

Here is a list of all hat-tricks in World Cup matches, as on June 22 2019:

WC hat trick

Live link: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/1190325.html

The first as well as the most recent instances were by Indian bowlers.

The first one was by a bowler who is not always given the credit he deserved. He is unfortunately remembered more for a last-ball six by Javed Miandad in a crucial match.

It may not be remembered that he is still the only Indian bowler to take a 10-for in a Test in England. And that he is one of the few Indian tailenders who scored an ODI century when tried in the middle order.

See the overview:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/33949.html

And his World Cup hat-trick in 1987. No one else had taken a hat-trick in the World Cup until then in matches starting from 1975.

See the scorecard:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8039/scorecard/65114/india-vs-new-zealand-24th-match-reliance-world-cup-1987-88

That match on Oct 31, 1987 was critical, as it was India’s last match in the group and needed to defeat New Zealand by a large margin to ensure that they topped the group. If they came second, they would have to face Pakistan in the semi-final (which, by prior agreement, would have been held in Pakistan if the two teams were to meet).

New Zealand won the toss and batted first. They made steady and unspectacular progress until they reached 182/5. One of their key batsmen Ken Rutherford was batting along with pinch-hitter Martin Snedden. Chetan Sharma had not taken a wicket at that stage.

He then had Rutherford bowled, followed by bowling No 8 Ian Smith (a Test centurion) and No 9 batsman Ewan Chatfield (capable of stubborn batting). This would be one of the relatively rare all-bowled hat-tricks in international cricket.

From 182/8, they got up to 221/9 in 50 overs.

This is still the only World Cup hat-trick where all three dismissals were bowled.

The Indian team knew the required run rate. Sunil Gavaskar had not been much of a success as an ODI batsman, but seized the occasion to score his only ODI century, an unbeaten 103. Srikkanth (75) and Azharuddin (41*) also ensured that India met the required run rate. Gavaskar and Sharma shared the Man of the Match award.

So it was India vs England at Bombay, and Pakistan vs Australia at Lahore. We all know how THAT turned out. So there was an Ashes final rather than a South Asian final at Calcutta, where Border’s unheralded team won by a narrow margin.

Hat-tricks in World Cup matches remained scarce, with no instance in 1992 and 1996. The next instance was by Saqlain Mushtaq in a Super Six match against Zimbabwe in 1999.

Forward to 2019. Mohammad Shami had made a good beginning to his Test career (with a 9-wicket haul against an admittedly weak WI team) but was generally felt to have performed below expectations. He did score a fifty in a Test batting at no 11. Injuries and domestic issues played their role.

There was even some kind of fudging in his records as his birthplace was initially shown to be in Jonagar in Bengal. No such town can be found in the map. Later his birthplace was mysteriously changed to Amroha (near Moradabad in UP) which is generally considered to be correct.

From the table in the beginning, we see that hat-tricks in the World Cup had become more common since 1999, with Malinga going a step beyond with 4 in 4. That is the only such dismissal in ODIs (or Tests). Malinga also took two regular hat-tricks later.

As I write this on June 23, the result of the 2019 World Cup is unknown. The only thing we know definitely is that Afghanistan (0 points in 6 matches) cannot qualify.

Points table after matches on June 22, 2019:

Points Table Jun 22 2019

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8039/scorecard/1144510/afghanistan-vs-india-28th-match-icc-cricket-world-cup-2019

In this match India batted below par and finished with 224/8, primarily due to lower-order failures. Shami’s dismissal was typical as he scored 1 off 2 balls.

Some time later the unthinkable seemed likely as Afghanistan made good progress towards the modest target. Shami had earlier taken the first wicket of H Zazai. With an over left, Afg was 209/7 with Nabi and Ikram going strong.

The upsets by Bangladesh against WI and Sri Lanka against England were fresh in viewer’s minds.

16 in the last over was difficult but not impossible (as Dinesh Karthik would testify). With the 3rd ball, Shami had Nabi caught by Pandya for 52 (213/8). 12 to get off 3 balls with 2 wickets in hand.

Surely that was the end for Afghanistan’s hopes? Shami made sure of that by bowling No 10 (Aftab 49.4) and No 11 (Mujeeb, 49.5) and taking India’s second hat-trick in the World Cup, over 31 years after the first. He finished with 4-40.

Also see this: https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/27035426/mohammed-shami-reveals-ms-dhoni-advice-world-cup-hat-trick-ball

However, it was JJ Bumrah (2-39) who was Man of the Match as his wickets were probably more critical.

 

Another landmark for Moeen Ali

Perhaps Moeen Ali shaving his head made some difference (apart from being mistaken for Hashim Amla at a distance). In the first Test of the current series against South Africa he became one of the relatively few (25) to score a fifty and 10 wickets in the same match (Sir Richard Hadlee did so 3 times, while a false knight of the present also appears here):

10wm and fifty

He also became part of a select group of 40 to have scored both a century and a ten-for in Tests. Only IT Botham, Imran Khan and Shakib Al Hasan achieved this in the same Test.

Century and tenner

In the third Test, he finished the match with a hat-trick. This was the 43rd hat-trick in Tests and he became the 39th player to achieve this. H Trumble, TJ Matthews, Wasim Akram and SCB Broad took two hat-tricks apiece. The updated list of hat-tricks:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/136977.html

Finally, he joined a rather short list of 7 players who have scored a century and taken a hat-trick in Tests. Of these, Sohag Gazi is the only one to do so in the same Test-though he vanished from the international scene quite rapidly.

  1. J Briggs
  2. Wasim Akram
  3. Harbhajan Singh
  4. IK Pathan
  5. SCJ Broad
  6. Sohag Gazi
  7. MM Ali

Of these, 6 of them (i.e. excluding Sohag Gazi) have scored a century, taken a ten-for AND a hat-trick in Tests.

King Pairs in Test match cricket (2018 update)

In 2017, Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Pradeep became the 20th player to get a king pair (or golden pair), having been dismissed in the first ball of each innings.

This is one of those statistics which cannot directly be pulled out of Statsguru. One can ask it to list all those who scored 0 runs in a match with 2 dismissals and 2 balls, but even this will be misleading as not all innings have the balls-faced recorded. There are a few who were dismissed 2nd ball in one innings and dismissed with an unknown number of balls in the other innings.

Anyway, after checking all the concerned scorecards we arrive at the following list of 20 instances of undisputed king pairs in all Tests.

King Pair-2018

No captain has faced this indignity, though some wicket keepers have. The debutant TA Ward was unfortunate to become part of both of TJ Mathews’s hat tricks, while a better known keeper Adam Gilchrist was part of India’s first hat-trick in the first innings.

BS Chandrasekhar was the only one to supplant his king pair with a 10-wicket haul (6 wickets in each innings) while R Herath is the only other to take a 5-for.

Another point of interest is the NZ keeper Colquhoun who was part of the record 26 all out which has stood since 1955 despite several determined attempts to breach it in recent years.

No batsman from the West Indies and Pakistan has made a king pair (although 5 have been made against Pakistan and none against West Indies).

No batsman has made a king pair at Lord’s.

Most of the players on the list are not recognized batsmen, but prominent exceptions include Gilchrist, Richardson and Sehwag. Some others such as Agarkar have scored at least one Test century.

 

They only saw defeats in Tests-updated to Oct 2017

After covering those Test players who only saw victories in their careers of over 5 Tests, we move to the other extreme of those who only saw defeats. There are 22 such players who are listed below as on October 15, 2017. The record is held by Alok Kapali of Bangladesh.

All losses

As you may guess, Bangladesh has the most representatives here but there are some from other major cricketing countries (but not India). An interesting case is that of JG Dewes who scored 1 and 10 on his debut which was a heavy loss for England. But this match is remembered more for a duck by another player in his last Test:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62689.html

Coming back to Alok Kapali and runner-up Mohammad Sharif, they were unlucky to miss Bangladesh’s first Test victory against Zimbabwe in 2004-05. The former was a batting all-rounder who was the first Bangladeshi (and only Hindu, if that matters) to take a Test hat-trick. That hat-trick (with innings figures of 3 for 3) accounted for half of his Test wickets. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/56251.html

Several Zimbabweans on this list may play again, notably RW Chakabva (10), SC Williams and Sikandar Raza (7 Tests each).

If we list all those who witnessed defeat in more than 90 percent of their Tests, we get this list of 29:

Over 90 percent loss

6 of the 7 players added are all from Bangladesh. The other is CR Ervine of Zimbabwe who is likely to play again.

It looks as if Kapali’s record will stand for a long time, even though he was probably a better player than some others who appear here. Contrast this with Eldine Baptiste and his friends from the earlier post.