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6 top-order ODI hat-tricks


Hat-trick_top_order_batting_bowling_cricket_ODIODI hat-tricks are rare. There have only been 46 of them in the history of the format in nearly 100 times the number of matches. The probability of a hat-trick in ODIs currently stands at 0.1%, which makes it one of the rarest events on a cricket field.

While most ODI hat-tricks have come with the bowler excelling against the tail-enders and finishing off an innings with three consecutive wickets, the rare ones have come against the top-order. Even rarer is a hat-trick involving top three wickets to fall in an innings.

Only six of the 46 hat-tricks in ODIs have come against the top three wickets to fall in the opposition line-up. Here is a look back at these hat-tricks which are, arguably, some of the best in the history of the game in the fifty over format.

Eddo Brandes v Eng, Harare, 1997

At Harare in 1997, Zimbabwe pulled off an upset against England, beating them by 131 runs in a rather one-sided affair. The architect of the win was Eddo Brandes, who removed Nick Knight, Jon Crawley and Nasser Hussain off successive deliveries. Chasing 250 to win, the visitors were dealt an early blow as Brandes steamed in and had Nick Knight caught behind.

He proceeded to remove Jon Crawley, trapping him in front with one that seamed back in and then had Nasser Hussain caught behind off the very next ball to collect Zimbabwe's maiden hat-trick in ODIs. Brandes added two more wickets to finish with 5/28 in the game and helped Zimbabwe to a massive win. Curiously, Brandes had also picked up Zimbabwe's first ever first-class hat-trick.

Chaminda Vaas v Ban, Pietermaritzburg, 2003

At Pietermaritzburg in a World Cup game against Bangladesh in 2003, Chaminda Vaas did the impossible. He not only removed the top three batsmen off successive balls but did it off the first three balls in the innings. Vaas cleaned up Hannan Sarkar for a nought off the first ball of the game and then had Mohammad Ashraful caught and bowled off the second.

To complete his hat-trick, Vaas had Ehsanul Haque edging to the slip cordon. This was the third hat-trick in the history of the World Cup and quite a unique one, for it came off the first three balls of the game. Adding icing to the cake was another wicket in the over, off the fifth ball, when Vaas had Sanwar Hossain plumb in front with a sharp inswinger.

Brett Lee v Ken, Durban, 2003

The 2003 World Cup witnessed another hat-trick as Brett Lee wreaked havoc against Kenya at Durban in the Super Six. Opting to bat first, Kenya had to contend with Lee's searing pace and emerged second best. The Australian seamer removed Kennedy Otieno in the fourth ball of the fourth over and bad Brijal Patel caught off the next ball.

To complete his hat-trick, Lee cleaned up David Obuya off the final ball of the over. He did not pick up another wicket in the game but entered the record books as the third Australian to pick up an ODI hat-trick.

Clint McKay v Eng, Cardiff, 2013

Post Lee's hat-trick, it took ten years for another bowler to take a hat-trick of the first three wickets of the opposition. When it did happen it was another Australian, Clint McKay, who achieved the feat. In the fourth ODI of the 2013 series against England in Cardiff, McKay spelt doom in the hosts’ dressing room by removing the cream of their top-order.

McKay had opener Kevin Pietersen leg before wicket in the third over and went on to remove Jonathan Trott and Joe Root off successive balls to complete a terrific hat-trick. England, though, went on to win the match courtesy Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan. McKay, though, would cherish memories of the feat for life.

Kagiso Rabada v Ban, Mirpur, 2015

Kagiso Rabada took a rare hat-trick in 2015 as he removed the top three Bangladesh batsmen in the first ODI of a series in Bangladesh. It was Rabada's debut and the seamer, who had impressed in the Under-19 World Cup win a year ago, picked up 6/16 which included a hat-trick.

Rabada removed Tamim Iqbal with a corker in the fourth over and went on to add the wickets of Liton Das and Mahmudullah in the next two balls to complete a hat-trick on debut. Stepping onto International cricket, the South African seamer took little time to make a lasting impression.

Trent Boult v Pak, Abu Dhabi, 2018

Trent Boult picked up the third hat-trick of 2018 when he had Pakistan's top-order gasping for thin air at Abu Dhabi in a run chase of 267. Boult had Fakhar Zaman cleaned up for 1 in the third over with a swinging delivery under lights. The left-arm seamer then had Babar Azam slashing at a wide yorker and edging to the cordon to complete two in two.

Off his hat-trick ball, Boult swung one back into Hafeez but had to wait until Hafeez's unsuccessful review to kick off celebrations. He became the third New Zealand bowler after Danny Morrison and Shane Bond to record an ODI hat-trick.

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