It is not pretty often than you notch up a hat-trick in a game of cricket, no matter how fragile and volatile your opponents are. However, there have been greats of the game who has made it look like a cakewalk and has rattled through the defences of the best batsmen of the world. The value of the hat-trick increases exponentially when it is in the World Cup. Not many players can brag about this deferential feat. Chetan Sharma was the first bowler in the world to notch up a hat-trick in a world cup and it came against a formidable Kiwi side. Post that until the 21st century kicked off, there was just one more hat-trick that was registered in a World Cup and it was by Saqlain Mushtaq of Pakistan against Zimbabwe cleaning the likes of Stuart Carlisle, Craig Wishart and Tatenda Taibu.
We will look at the bowlers who went on to register hat-tricks in Cricket World Cup post-2000.
Chaminda Vaas versus Bangladesh: World Cup 2003:
Srilanka was up against Bangladesh and after deciding to bat, they were imposed with an early carnage as Chaminda Vaas broke the spine of their batting order by notching up a hat-trick in the very first three deliveries of the match.
His first victim was little-known Hannan Sarkar. Overtly ambitious, he went for a glorious drive in the very first delivery, not even trying to gauge the pitch. The ball swung through his defences and rattled the middle stump.
The next delivery was brutal pace from the in-swinging specialist of Srilanka. Mohammad Ashraful was caught flat-footed and the ball just nipped the blade and went back in the exact same trajectory into Vaas’ own arms.
The final victim of Chaminda’s lethal start to the game was Ehsanul Haque, who barely understood the swing. By the time he realized the delivery, the ball was already gobbled up by Jayawardene at slip and the celebration unspooled in pompous fashion.
Brett Lee versus Kenya: World Cup 2003:
The next man to notch up the hat-trick in the same edition of the fray was another mean pace-machine, Brett Lee. Pitted against Kenya, he started an early rampage as his 153 kays struck Kennedy Obuya in the elbow before dislodging the bails. Kennedy Obuya left the pitch in tears of losing his wicket and also probably his World Cup dream.
The next victim of this deadly Australian paceman was Brijal Patel as he tried to drive at an out-swinging delivery and ended up a holing to an agile Ricky Ponting.
The last prey of Brett Lee’s fiery spell was David Obuya as he was clean bowled with a 155 kay stunner. Trying to juggle himself in order to stop the delivery he lost his footing and by that time his stumps were dismantled.
Lasith Malinga versus South Africa: World Cup 2007:
This hat-trick almost won Srilanka a lost game. With a paltry 209 to defend, the Lankans were staring at a dead defeat with South Africa comfortably lodged at 206-5 from 44.4 overs. However, Malinga’s magical spell brought the game back to life as he went on to notch up 4 scalps in four consecutive deliveries to push South Africa to the cusp of defeat.
His rampage started with a set Shaun Pollock. Looking forward to making some room for himself, he gave a glance of the stumps to a red-hot Malinga, whose change of pace left Pollock befuddled and his stumps dismantled.
His second prey of the night was a dazed and confused Andrew Hall, who didn’t have the slightest inkling of what was unfolding around him. He trudged in, took his stance and once again awed at the mixing of pace, holed out straight to Upul Tharanga.
When Malinga returned for the next over, his blistering pace removed a set Kallis as the ball kissed the nick of the bat and flew into the safe arms of Sangakkara, completing his hat-trick.
To add a cherry to the cake, Malinga stormed through the defence of his counterpart in the pace department of South Africa, Makhaya Ntini. With the speedometer reading 149 kays, Ntini was whipped with a clinically perfect yorker.
Kemar Roach versus Netherlands: World Cup 2011:
Roach was one of West Indies’ most scary fast bowlers. He used to average around 145 kays and was known for his nasty bouncers. However, the World Cup in 2011 stayed witness to an absolutely different incarnation of him. He came out with swings that swivelled more than a pendulum. That is what got him his first hat-trick.
His first scalp of the night was Wesley Baressi, who was totally taken aback by the movement of the delivery. Also to add to his woes, Chris Gayle picked up a stunner at the first slip to dismiss him.
Roach’s next victim was Ryan ten Doeschate who fell to a deadly inswinging yorker from Roach. Delivered at 150 kmph, the ball rattled Doeschate’s stumps with the Dutchman not even realizing that what had smitten him.
Roach racked up his hattrick in a similar fashion when another inswinging yorker removed Bas Zuiderent and also decimated the Dutch batting line up.
Lasith Malinga versus Kenya: World Cup 2011:
Malinga became the first bowler to register two hat-tricks in the history of World Cup. His second hat-trick came against an ailing Kenya who was undone by his pace and unsparing bowling of yorkers.
The first man who was shown the exit was Tanmay Mishra. Though a debatable call from the umpire, as Malinga’s foot, was just barely clicking the line and the hawk-eye technology showed that the ball will click the edge of the leg stump, the decision went in the bowler’s favour.
However, the next couple of victims were snuffed out cleanly by Malinga. Peter Ongondo was thrown in front of a perfectly executed yorker that flew at him with a speed of 145 kays and rattled his stumps. The next in line, Shem Ngoche suffered the same fate as another clinical yorker completed the rout for the pace man.
Steven Finn versus Australia: World Cup 2015:
If there was one English bowler who made his presence felt in the World Cup after Ian Botham’s resounding appearance that was Steven Finn. Finn knocked Australia over with his brutal pace and swing.
His hat-trick started with Brad Haddin who failed to connect with the ball and ended up holing out to Stuart Broad. His next victim was the deadly Glenn Maxwell who in an attempt to continue with his hard-hitting ended up being caught by Joe Root.
The last nail in the Australia coffin was Mitchell Johnson, who was completely befuddled by the raw pace and was removed by a decent catch from James Anderson.
JP Duminy versus Sri Lanka: World Cup 2015:
Out of all the bowlers who were the likeliest contenders to pick up hat-tricks, Jean Paul Duminy turned out to be the surprise pick. A part-time off-spinner dented the Lankan batting line up in a span of three tricky deliveries.
Angelo Matthews was the first one to fall to the trickery of Duminy as he smacked a tossed up delivery straight in the safe hands of Faf Du Plessis.
The next one to follow suit was Nuwan Kulasekara when he got a very slight nick of his bat and Sangakkara pouched a stunner behind the stumps. The final man to be removed was Tharindu Kaushal as he found his leg stranded before the wicket in front of a brilliant delivery from Duminy. Egged on by the hat-trick and some thunderous bowling from Imran Tahir, South Africa roared into the semi-finals of the tournament.
Mohammad Shami versus Afghanistan: World Cup 2019:
India survived an early scare after the Afghans bundled the Blues for a meager 224. They flew off to an uproarious start, thanks to Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah. However, a strong comeback from Bumrah and Chahal once again came to the deliverance of India.
When everything was headed in India’s favour, Mohammad Nabi took a strong stand and started challenging the Indian bowlers with calculative batting.
With 16 required from the last 6 deliveries, Kohli resorted to his swing specialist, Mohammad Shami. Shami was whacked for a boundary on the very first delivery, insinuating the worst for India. However, India paceman’s retaliation was swift as ever, as he bowled the exact same delivery to Nabi and tempted him to emulate his last shot.
Embroiled in greed by the over-pitched delivery he went for the same hit but ended up giving a simple catch straight down the throat of Hardik Pandya in the deep. With twelve still needed, Afghanistan’s resistance did not last long as Shami removed the last two batsmen with consummate ease to complete India’s second hat-trick that took 32 years in the making.
Bowling the exact same delivery in the block at a speed of 145 kays, he castled out Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahaman, thereby extinguishing the Afghan fire.
Trent Boult versus Australia: World Cup 2019:
Boult became the first Kiwi bowler to notch up a hat-trick in the World Cup. In a game where Australia’s sinking ship was steadied by a rock-solid Usman Khwaja, Boult struck the telling blow by removing the left-hander.
With the delivery from Boult drifting down the leg side, Khwaja in an attempt to glance it down the left side, ended up baring his leg stump and was beaten by sheer pace.
Mitchell Starc made a golden duck as Boult cleaned him off with a picture-perfect yorker at 150 kmph. Jason Behrendorff was the last victim of Boult as he was struck by lightning from the Kiwi fast bowler. Even before he could budge, his leg was trapped before wicket with an absolute beauty from Boult.
With this, we come to the end of a saga of hat-tricks that embellished the records of the World Cuppers. Brute pace, magical movement and finest trickery of the fingers call it whatever you may, these bowlers performed magic at the highest stage of all.