A hat-trick in cricket is probably the most difficult achievement for a bowler. While they say a five-wicket haul is the bowling equivalent of a batsman's ton, there is no batting equivalent for a bowler's hat-trick.
Taking three wickets in three consecutive deliveries demands unprecedented accuracy, consistency, skill, and luck. While picking up a hat-trick in itself is a big achievement, doing it on the biggest of stages is something that the bowlers can tell their grandchildren proudly.
Here is a list of bowlers who belong to the elite club of having bagged hat-tricks in the showpiece event of cricket, the World Cup.
- #1 Chetan Sharma vs New Zealand- Nagpur, 1987.
- #2 Saqlain Mushtaq vs Zimbabwe- London, 1999.
- #3 Chaminda Vaas vs Bangladesh- Pietermaritzburg, 2003.
- #4 Brett Lee vs Kenya- Durban, 2003.
- #5 Lasith Malinga vs South Africa- Providence, 2007.
- #6 Kemar Roach vs Netherlands- Delhi, 2011.
- #7 Lasith Malinga vs Kenya- Colombo, 2011
- #8 Steven Finn vs Australia- Melbourne, 2015
- #9 JP Duminy vs Sri Lanks- Sydney, 2015
So technically, JP Duminy was the last bowler to take a hat-trick in Cricket World Cup.
#1 Chetan Sharma vs New Zealand- Nagpur, 1987
Being in the shadow of Kapil Dev for so long, the pocket-sized dynamite, Chetan Sharma became the first cricketer in the history to pick up a hat-trick in a World Cup match.
It was a group stage game against New Zealand, Chetan Sharma who was wicket-less in the match at the time, went on to pick Ken Rutherford, Ian Smith and Ewen Chatfield off three consecutive balls to register the first ever hat-trick in World Cups.
Another beauty about this achievement is that all three batsmen were out bowled by Chetan Sharma. He's also India's first hat-trick hero including all three formats of the game.
#2 Saqlain Mushtaq vs Zimbabwe- London, 1999
It might be ironical, but cleaning up the tail is indeed an art. Saqlain Mushtaq can say he mastered that art because he cleaned up the tail with a hat-trick. Yes, In a group game against Zimbabwe in the 1999 World Cup, Mushtaq picked up Henry Olonga, Adam Huckle, Pommie Mbangwa off three consecutive balls to seal the game for Pakistan.
While the first two dismissals needed the help of Moin Khan's stumping skills, the last wicket was leg before wicket. Considering the batting abilities of the three, Mushtaq might not make a big deal of it, still, a hat-trick in a World Cup is a special feeling.
#3 Chaminda Vaas vs Bangladesh- Pietermaritzburg, 2003
It was the 10th match of the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Sri Lanka won the toss and asked Bangladesh to bat first. Chaminda Vaas etched his name in history books with his first 3 balls. He became the first player to pick up a hat-trick in the first 3 balls of an innings.
The fact that it was a World Cup game made the occasion even more special. Hannan Sarkar, Mohammad Ashraful, Ehsanul Haque fell prey to Vaas's swing. Sarkar was clean bowled by an inswinger, Ashraful lobbed one back to Vaas and Eshanul Haque edged one to the slip cordon. Sri Lanka won the match comfortably with ten wickets in hand.
Also Read: World Cup Cricket Hat-tricks
#4 Brett Lee vs Kenya- Durban, 2003
After Kennedy Otieno's stumps were disturbed as the ball ricocheted off his elbow, Brijal Patel gave some catching practice to Ricky Ponting at second slip, followed by David Obuya who got bowled by a gem of a yorker by Brett Lee.
It was a Super Sixes game in which Australia won the toss and opted to field first. Brett Lee registered the second hat-trick of that edition of the World Cup. Kenya went on to score 174 runs which were chased down by Australia quite easily with 5 wickets in hand.
#5 Lasith Malinga vs South Africa- Providence, 2007
Chasing 210, South Africa were 206 for 5 and looked well on course to reach the target comfortably. Out of nowhere, Lasith Malinga rose to the occasion by picking up 4 wickets in 4 balls using the art of reverse swing to good effect.
Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis, and Makhaya Ntini fell prey to Malinga's yorkers and slower balls. All of a sudden, South Africa were staring at another choking moment but Robin Peterson rescued them, thanks to an edge that went past the slip cordon to seal South Africa's victory. However, Malinga's fighting spell will go down as one of the greatest spells in World Cup history.
#6 Kemar Roach vs Netherlands- Delhi, 2011
Netherland's decision to field first after winning the toss backfired badly when West Indies piled on 330 runs in first innings. Their chase was not any better. The Netherlands lost 7 wickets for 115 runs before Kemar Roach decided to inflict further damage.
He removed Pieter Seelar, Bernard Loots and Berend Westdijk off successive deliveries to seal a memorable spell which read 8.3-0-27-6. While the first two dismissals were LBW, his final ball was a toe cracking yorker that disturbed the timber.
#7 Lasith Malinga vs Kenya- Colombo, 2011
Malinga became the only player to pick up two hat-tricks in World Cups when he dismissed Kenya's Peter Ongondo, Shem Ngoche and Elijah Otieno in three balls. Kenya's batsmen did not have any clue about Malinga's crushing deliveries as all three fell prey to his accurate yorkers.
While Ongondo was out LBW, Ngoche and Otieno were out bowled as their team succumbed to a mere 142 runs, which was chased by Sri Lanka without breaking a sweat. Malinga was rightly adjudged Man of the Match as his figures read 7.4-0-38-6.
#8 Steven Finn vs Australia- Melbourne, 2015
Steven Finn may not be very proud of his bowling performance in England's first match of 2015 World Cup campaign, but he ended up becoming England's first and only bowler to take a hat-trick in World Cups.
England won the toss and chose to bowl first. The Australians were cruising at 342 for 6 and Finn was having an ordinary night as he had conceded 71 runs, picking up just 2 wickets. He wouldn't have imagined even in his wildest dream that he would pick up a hat-trick after seeing the Aussies dominate thus with the bat.
Brad Haddin, Glenn Maxwell, and Mitchell Johnson hoicked the ball to give catches to the outfielders in an attempt to maximize their team's total. Not the best looking hat-trick, but Finn will take it with both hands.
#9 JP Duminy vs Sri Lanks- Sydney, 2015
The only man to take a hat-trick in a World Cup knock-out game, JP Duminy made the most of his part-time off-spin against Sri Lanka in the Quarter-Final of the 2015 World Cup. Sri Lanka had the match in the balance when they were batting at 114 for 4 with Angelo Mathews and Kumar Sangakkara batting patiently.
Mathews tried to run at the bowler at ended up chipping the ball to Faf du Plessis. Duminy then managed to find the outside edge of Nuwan Kulasekara's bat to mark his second wicket and then trapped Tharindu Kaushal plumb in front to complete his hat-trick, paving the way to South Africa's first win in a World Cup knockout game.