Rashid Khan achieves rare feat, joins Lasith Malinga in an exclusive club
What's the story?
Afghanistan's premier spinner Rashid Khan has achieved the rare feat of taking a double hat-trick in international cricket. He scalped four wickets on four of his consecutive deliveries in the third T20I against Ireland at Dehra Dun. In an otherwise high scoring match, the leg-spinner was sensational as he picked his second five-wicket haul in T20s to return with stunning match figures of 5/27.
In case you didn't know...
Rashid Khan is only the second bowler to accomplish this sequence in international cricket. Lasith Malinga was the first one to do so, dismissing four South African batsmen in a Super Eight match of ICC World Cup 2007.
Apart from them, there are five other bowlers who have managed the exceptional feat in competitive cricket, however, all of them have come in domestic cricket. Rashid became the third bowler to do so in T20 cricket, his accomplishment coming in order after Windies' Andre Russell and Bangladesh's Al-Amin Hossain.
The heart of the matter
Afghanistan, already leading the three-match series 2-0, set the 'visitors' a stiff target of 211, although relatively modest compared to their last match's shocking effort of 278 runs in 20 overs. Mohammad Nabi led the Afghans with a 36 ball 81 to propel them after a middle-order stutter. Ireland was well on course, riding on Kevin O'Brien's well-paced half-century, and that was when Rashid struck.
Starting with O'Brien (74) on the last ball of the sixteenth over, the Nangarhar stalwart took wickets on the first three balls of the eighteenth over. He dismissed George Dockrell (18), Shane Getkate (2) and Simi Singh (0) to effectively put an end to Ireland's hopes of avoiding a whitewash.
Rashid Khan will be one of the best bowlers in action at the ICC World Cup in England and Wales. He will further get into the groove for the upcoming action when Afghanistan take on Ireland for a further five ODIs and a solitary Test at Dehra Dun.