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Worcestershire's Joe Leach takes hat-trick with first three balls of match

Three ducks in the first over was followed by a swan flying perilously close to the field of play, further sprucing up a highly entertaining opening to the match.

Worcestershire fast bowler Joe Leach

Worcestershire fast bowler Joe Leach claimed a hat-trick with the first three balls of his side's Royal London One-Day Cup match against Northamptonshire on Sunday.

The 24-year-old paceman had Richard Levi and Rob Keogh caught behind before removing Ben Duckett, caught at gully by Jack Shantry. Northamptonshire’s score read 0/3 after the first three balls of the match, prompting mad scenes within the Worcestershire team.

Leach finished with figures of 4-30 from his 10 overs as Northants were dismissed for just 126 in 35.1 overs.

Three ducks in the first over was followed by a swan flying perilously close to the field of play, further sprucing up a highly entertaining opening to the match.

There was also a surprise guest who came in midway into the match, whether or not to witness the 24-year-old Joseph Leach it is not known.

This is the second time such a unique hat-trick has been achieved in a high profile cricket match. Chaminda Vaas, in a 2003 World Cup match against Bangladesh, became the first player in Tests or one-dayers to take such a hat-trick. Vaas had added a further scalp with the fifth ball of the match en route to a four-wicket opening over.

Interestingly, India’s Irfan Pathan had taken 3 wickets with the last three balls of the first over of the match in the 2006 Karachi Test. Pathan became the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the very first over of a Test match by picking up the wickets of Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf.

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