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Hat-tricks in Test Cricket

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A hat-trick, quite apart from being an abracadabraesque feat of illusion, implies the achievement of three consecutive successes during sporting endeavour, most notably (outside North America) three goals in a football match and three wickets in cricket. It is in cricket that the hat-trick has its origin.


At Sheffield's Hyde Park ground in 1858, an all-England cricket team was engaged in a cricket match against the Hallam XI. During the match, one HH Stephenson of the All-England XI took three wickets in three balls. As was customary at the time for rewarding outstanding sporting feats, a collection was made. The proceeds were used to buy a (reportedly white) hat, which was duly presented to Stephenson.

For the record, North Americans will no doubt be more familiar with the shower of hats that rain down on the ice when a player scores a third goal in ice-hockey. This reportedly derives from the habit of a 1940s Toronto haberdasher who used to award Maple Leaf hockey players free hats when they scored three goals in a game, but clearly it is a celebration that has its origin in cricket.

The First Test Cricket Hat-trick

In January 1879, Melbourne, Australia, witnessed the third ever test match and the first hat-trick in test (and Ashes) cricket, when, off three successive balls, 'The Demon', Australian FR Spofforth clean-bowled Englishmen Vernon Royle and Francis Mackinnon before having Tom Emmett caught, thereby reducing England to a pitiful 26-7.

The First 30 Test Cricket Hat-tricks

Since January 1879, to the time of writing (the 2003 cricket World Cup) there have been 29 further test cricket hat-tricks. Of the 30, eight have occurred during Ashes series.

BowlerForAgainstMatch DateVenueWicketsNotes
FR SpofforthAustraliaEngland2 January, 1879Melbourne
VPFA Royle (bowled)
FA Mackinnon (bowled)
T Emmett (c1 TP Horan)
W BatesEnglandAustralia19 January, 1883Melbourne
PS McDonnell (bowled)
G Giffen (c and b2)
GJ Bonnor (c WW Read)
J BriggsEnglandAustralia29 January, 1892Sydney
WF Giffen (bowled)
ST Callaway (c WG Grace)
JM Blackham (lbw3)
GA LohmannEnglandSouth
13 February, 1896Port Elizabeth
South Africa
FJ Cook (bowled)
J Middleton (bowled4)
JT Willoughby (c TW Hayward)
JT HearneEnglandAustralia29 June, 1899Leeds
C Hill (bowled)
SE Gregory (c AC MacLaren)
MA Noble (c KS Ranjit)
H TrumbleAustraliaEngland1 January, 1902Melbourne
AO Jones (c J Darling)
JR Gunn (c SP Jones)
SF Barnes (c and b)
H TrumbleAustraliaEngland1 January, 1904Melbourne
W Rhodes (lbw)
AE Knight (lbw)
AFA Lilley (st5 JJ Kelly)
TJ MatthewsAustraliaSouth
27 May, 1912Manchester
R Beaumont (bowled)
SJ Pegler (lbw)
TA Ward (lbw)
TJ MatthewsAustraliaSouth
27 May, 1912Manchester
HW Taylor (bowled)
RO Schwartz (c and b)
TA Ward (c and b)
MJC AllomEnglandNew
10 January, 1930Christchurch
New Zealand
TC Lowry (lbw)
KC James (c WL Cornford)
FT Badcock (bowled)
TWJ GoddardEnglandSouth
24 December, 1938Johannesburg
South Africa
AD Nourse (c and b)
N Gordon (st LEG Ames)
WW Wade (bowled)
PJ LoaderEnglandWest
25 Jul, 1957Leeds
JDC Goddard (bowled)
S Ramadhin (c FS Trueman)
R Gilchrist (bowled)
LF KlineAustraliaSouth
31 December, 1957Cape Town
South Africa
ERH Fuller (c R Benaud)
HJ Tayfield (lbw)
NAT Adcock (c RB Simpson)
WW HallWest
Pakistan26 March, 1959Lahore
Mushtaq Moh'd (lbw)
Fazal Mahmood (c GSA Sobers)
Nasim-ul-Ghani (bowled)
GM GriffinSouth
England23 June, 1960Lord's
MJK Smith (c JHB Waite)
PM Walker (bowled)
FS Trueman (bowled)
LR GibbsWest
Australia27 January, 1961Adelaide
KD Mackay (lbw)
ATW Grout (c GSA Sobers)
FM Misson (bowled)
PJ PetherickNew
Pakistan9 October, 1976Lahore
Javed Miandad (c RJ Hadlee)
Wasim Raja (c and b)
Intikhab Alam (c GP Howarth)
CA WalshWest
Australia18 November, 1988Brisbane
AIC Dodemaide (c IVA Richards)
MRJ Veletta (c CL Hooper)
GM Wood (lbw)
MG HughesAustraliaWest
CEL Ambrose (c IA Healy)
BP Patterson (c AIC Dodemaide)
CG Greenidge (lbw)
DW FlemingAustraliaPakistan5 October, 1994Rawalpindi
Aamer Malik (c MG Bevan)
Inzaman-ul-Haq (lbw)
Saleem Malik (c IA Healy)
SK WarneAustraliaEngland24 December, 1994Melbourne
PAJ DeFreitas (lbw)
D Gough (c IA Healy)
DE Malcolm (c DC Boon)
DG CorkEnglandWest
27 July, 1995Manchester
RB Richardson (bowled)
JR Murray (lbw)
CL Hooper (lbw)
D GoughEnglandAustralia2 January, 1999Sydney
IA Healy (c Hegg)
SCG MacGill (bowled)
CR Miller (bowled)
Wasim AkramPakistanSri Lanka4 March, 1999Lahore
RS Kaluwitharana (c Moin Kahn)
MRCN Bandaratilleke (bowled)
GP Wickramasinghe (bowled)
Wasim AkramPakistanSri Lanka12 March, 1999Dhaka
DA Gunawardene (c S Afridi)
WPUJC Vaas (bowled)
DPMD Jayawardene (c W Wasti)
DNT ZoysaSri LankaZimbabwe26 November, 1999Harare
TR Gripper (lbw)
MW Goodwin (c RS Kaluwitharana)
NC Johnson (lbw)
Abdur RazzaqPakistanSri Lanka21 June, 2000Galle
Sri Lanka
RS Kaluwitharana (c Moin Kahn)
HMRKB Herath (lbw)
KR Pushpakumara (lbw)
GD McGrathAustraliaWest
1 December, 2000Perth
SL Campbell (c RT Ponting)
BC Lara (c SCG MacGill)
JC Adams (c JL Langer)
Harbajan SinghIndiaAustralia11 March, 2001Calcutta
RT Ponting (lbw)
AC Gilchrist (lbw)
SK Warne (c S Ramesh)
Mohammed SamiPakistanSri Lanka6 March, 2002Lahore
TCB Fernando (lbw)
DNT Zoysa (lbw)
M Muralitharan (bowled)

The Hat-trickmakers

Fred Spofforth (1853 - 1926)

The first bowler to perform the hat-trick in test cricket, Spofforth dismissed three in a row in his six for 48 in the first innings against England at the MCG in January, 1879.

William Bates (1855 - 1900)

In January 1883, England's W Bates became the first Englishman to achieve a test hat-trick when he took revenge for Spofforth's efforts four years earlier, again at Melbourne's MCG. Bates took seven wickets in each innings, his hat-trick coming in the first.

John Briggs (1862 - 1902)

Briggs ended Australia's second innings with both test and Ashes cricket's third hat-trick; the first one occurring outside Melbourne.

George Lohmann (1865 - 1901)

GA Lohmann of England ended the match against the South Africans on only the second day with the fourth hat-trick in test cricket, South Africa having been skittled out for 30 leaving with Lohmann the remarkable match figures of 15 for 45.

John Hearne (1862 - 1902)

Hearne achieved his hat-trick in Australia's second innings of the third test of the series at Headingley in 1899, with the wickets of three of Australia's upper middle order.

Hugh Trumble (1867 - 1938)

Hugh Trumble of Australia became the first player to take two hat-tricks in test cricket and the only player ever to have taken two Ashes hat-tricks, the MCG proving to be a happy hunting ground for hat-trickmakers. The 1904 Melbourne test turned out to be Trumble's final match in first class cricket. Nowadays, Trumble's achievement largely overshadows his compatriot bowler MA Noble's efforts, who took 13 wickets in the match.

Tom Matthews (1884 - 1943)

By taking a hat-trick in both innings against South Africa at Old Trafford in May, 1912, Thomas Matthews is the only player ever to have taken two hat-tricks in one test match, and is the second after Trumble to have taken two test cricket hat-tricks. Notably, Matthews achieved this feat without the assistance of any other fielders, two victims being bowled, two lbw and two caught by the bowler himself. Matthews was no doubt eternally grateful to South African wicketkeeper, TA Ward who lived thereafter with the ignominy of having been Matthew's third victim on both occasions.

Maurice Allom (1906 - 1995)

Playing on debut against New Zealand at Christchurch in the 1929 - 30 series, Maurice Allom took four wickets in five balls including a hat-trick in his eighth over on his first day of test cricket. Only two other cricketers have taken four wickets in five balls, England's Chris Old and Pakistan's Wasim Akram.

Tom Goddard (1900 - 1966)

In South Africa's first innings of the first test of the 1938-39 England series against South Africa, Englishman TWJ Goddard was the ninth bowler to perform a hat-trick, and is the oldest bowler at 38 years and 87 days to have done so.

Peter Loader (1929 - )

The first home hat-trick for England since John Hearne in 1899, provided during Peter Loader's first innings 6-36 against the West Indies at Headingley, outshining English bowling legends Jim Laker and Freddy Trueman.

Lindsay Kline (1934 - )

Australian left arm off-spinner, Lindsay Kline was the 11th bowler to enter this elite club, achieving his hat-trick in South Africa's second innings at Cape Town in January 1958 to wrap up South Africa's second innings, following on. Kline took three wickets in each innings for a combined 6 for 47. Legendary commentator Richie Benaud bowled for Australia in the same match taking 9 wickets for 144.

Wesley Hall (1937 - )

The first West Indian hat-trickmaker, Wesley Hall has since gone on to become President of the West Indies Cricket Board. Against Pakistan (in Pakistan) in 1959 he took 5-87 in the first innings, helping the West Indies to win by an innings and 156 Runs.

Geoff Griffin (1939 - )

In only his second and final test match, South African Geoffrey Griffin's hat-trick against England at Lord's was the first hat-trick in a test match at Lord's but was not enough to save the match for South Africa. Having dismissed MJK Smith with the last ball of one over and PM Walker and FS Trueman with the first two balls of his next, Griffin was later called 11 times for throwing by umpire Frank Lee.

Lance Gibbs (1934 - )

Gibbs removed three consecutive Australian wickets at the Adelaide Oval in January 1961 to claim the 16th test match hat-trick, in a match which ended with three hat-trickmakers - Lance Gibbs and Wesley Hall fielding, and Lindsay Kline, one of the not-out batsman.

Peter Petherick (1942 - )

Off-spinner Petherick on test debut took Pakistan's fifth, sixth and seventh wickets with the total on 336, the first down being Javed Miandad caught by Richard Hadlee for 163. (Fantasy cricket!)

Courtney Walsh (1962 - )

Courtney Walsh ended the Australian first innings with the wicket of Tony Dodemaide and then sent Mike Veletta and Graeme Wood back to the pavillion with his first two balls of the second innings. It was the first test hat-trick to be spread over two innings.

Merv Hughes (1961 - )

The wickets of Curtly Ambrose and Patrick Patterson were taken with the last two balls bowled by handle-bar moustachioed Merv Hughes in the first Windies6 innings and Gordon Greenidge was out off Hughes' first ball of the second innings. Notably Hughes' first victim, Windies' eighth wicket Ambrose, was off the last ball of Hughes' 36th over. Gus Logie was the next man out, caught by Steve Waugh off the bowling of Tim May. Hughes then took the Windies tenth and final wicket, Patrick Patterson's, with the first ball of his 37th over. Over 24 hours later, Merv Hughes was introduced into the attack and took Gordon Greenidge's second innings wicket with the first ball he bowled. Thus, Hughes' unique hat-trick was taken with consecutive balls in three different overs.

Damien Fleming (1970 - )

Damien Fleming on debut, dismissed Aamer Malik (65), Inzamam-ul-Haq (0) and captain Salim Malik for a mammoth 237. It was to be too little too late for the Australians and the match was drawn.

Shane Warne (1969 - )

Shane Warne's hat-trick at the MCG in December 1994 was the first in Ashes cricket since January 1904 (a gap of almost 91 years).

Dominic Cork (1971 - )

With Brian Lara out for 145, Dominic Cork's ruination of West Indies' lower middle order paved the way for a seemingly unlikely England victory. It was the first hat-trick by an Englishman since Peter Loader's hat-trick, also against the West Indies, in 1952.

Darren Gough (1970 - )

Darren Gough took England's first Ashes hat-trick of the 20th Century at Sydney's SCG, in the last Ashes test of the 20th Century, having Healy caught and yorking7 his other two victims, but it was not enough to prevent another Australian victory.

Wasim Akram (1966 - )

Wasim Akram's second hat-trick in as many matches against Sri Lanka made him only the third player to take two hat-tricks in test cricket, and the first (being at Dhaka in Bangladesh) at a neutral venue. He is the only test captain to take a hat-trick and is the first bowler in the history of the game to achieve hat-trick in both forms of the game (ie, test and One-Day International).

Demuni Zoysa (1978 - )

Perhaps shaken up by Wasim Akram's exploits eight months earlier, Sri Lankan Demuni Zoysa's hat-trick was from the first three balls he delivered in the test, leaving Zimbabwe somewhat shell-shocked on 0-3, ie, zero runs for three wickets. Zimbabwe still managed to post a semi-respectable (under the circumstances) 174.

Abdur Razzaq (1979 - )

Razzaq's dismissal of Sri Lanka's first innings tail8, before Pakistan went on to score 600 for 8 declared (with four centurions9) was enough to secure victory for Pakistan, by an innings and 163 runs. It was Pakistan's third hat-trick in 15 months, all three coming against the Sri Lankans.

Glen McGrath (1970 - )

Renowned as a perfectionist, Glen McGrath's career would not be complete without a test hat-trick to his name and at the WACA (in Perth), on December 1, 2000, his demolition of the West Indies top-order10 (to 19-4) ensured that it would be a top-order hat-trick, with the wickets of opener Sirwen Campbell, Brian Lara and captain Jimmy Adams, all top batsmen to his name.

Harbajan Singh (1980 - )

On 11 March 2001, Harbajan Singh became the first (and only) Indian to claim a test match hat-trick on the first day of the Calcutta test against Australia when he dismissed Ponting, Gilchrist and Warne off three consecutive balls in his 16th over.

Mohammed Sami (1981 - )

In yet another Pakistan hat-trick against Sri Lanka, youngster Sami's hat-trick came while skittling out the Lanka's tail, but it was insufficient to prevent an eight-wicket Sri Lankan victory.

So, in 127 years, 1637 matches of test cricket have yielded only 30 hat-tricks, although others have come close. Englishman Ken Cranston took four wickets in a six-ball over (W.W.WW.11) to end South Africa's second innings at Headingley in 1947, while three bowlers (Pakistani, Wasim Akram, and Englishmen, MJC Allom and Chris Old) have each taken four wickets in five balls. Not quite as rare as hen's teeth then, test cricket hat-tricks are an elusive and much sought-after commodity, and certainly underscore a bowler's place in history.

1'c' indicates 'caught' meaning that the ball was caught by a fielder.2'c and b' indicates 'caught and bowled' meaning the ball was caught by the bowler.3lbw indicates 'leg before wicket'. A batsman would be out in this case because he must use his bat to defend his wicket, not his body.4Bowled means that the batsman has missed the ball and the ball has hit the wicket.5'st' indicates 'stumped' meaning the batsman has decided to run, changes his mind but doesn't make it back to the crease (the batsman's designated area) in time.6'Windies' is a colloquial cricket term for West Indies.7Yorking is to bowl out a batsman with a bowl that pitches immediately before the bat.8The batsmen that come last.9Four batsmen who scored a century (a 100 runs) each.10The batsmen who bat first.11This cricket shorthand means he took a wicket with his first, third, fifth and sixth ball of the over.

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