T20 cricket is often regarded as the batsmen’s game. With the willows becoming better and ground getting smaller, bowlers face a torrid time containing the destructive onslaught from the batsmen.
However, there are instances when a bowler is able to stamp his authority in the game with admirable skill. No wonder hat-tricks add a feather in the bowler’s cap and if that comes in the shortest format of the game, then it is bound to be appreciated.
Sri Lankan quick Lasith Malinga became the 5th bowler to claim a hat-trick in T20Is after he completed his feat against Bangladesh in the 2nd T20 in Colombo. Though Sri Lanka lost the match, but Malinga showed class is permanent as his inch-perfect yorkers and slower deliveries were once again full on display, bamboozling the batsmen. He also became the second bowler after Brett Lee to take a hat-trick in both ODIs and T20Is. He has scalped 19 wickets in his last 8 T20 games, showing why he is still a force to reckon with.
A look at Malinga’s hat-trick against Bangladesh-
On that backdrop we also take a look at the other hat-tricks claimed in international T20 cricket.
Brett Lee vs Bangladesh 2007
The first bowler to claim a hat-trick in T20I, Brett Lee did it in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 against Bangladesh. The speedster dismissed Shakib Al Hasan, Mortaza and Alok Kapali in the 17th over, thereby restricting the Tigers’ score to a modest 123 and scripting an easy win for the Aussies.
Finishing with figures of 3/27, Lee has adjudged the Man of the Match.
Jacob Oram vs Sri Lanka 2009
Chasing 142, Sri Lanka seemed well on course to overhaul the target at 122/6 when Black Caps all-rounder Oram dismissed Angelo Matthews in the final ball of the 17th over. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka was still the frontrunners to clinch the tie as they required nine off the final over with three wickets in hand.
Skipper Vettori entrusted Oram with bowling the all-important final over and the lanky all-rounder did not disappoint his captain. He got rid of Bandara and Kulasekara in the very first two deliveries of the over, thus helping his side register a thrilling 3-run win. The situation was so tense out in the middle that neither Oram nor his teammates understood that he had taken a hat-trick. (last ball of 17th over and first two balls of 20th over)
Tim Southee vs Pakistan 2010
Southee had already claimed his first wicket of the innings when he started to bowl the 7th over of the innings in their match against Pakistan in Auckland. Backed by his home crowd, the pacer sent the fans in a frenzy when he reduced Pakistan from 62/2 to 62/5 in three consecutive deliveries.
Before accounting for Umar Akmal in his hat-trick ball, Southee already sent back ace batsmen like Younis Khan and Mohammed Hafeez. Out of nowhere, Pakistan was in deep trouble as Southee returned in his next over to pick his 5th wicket. He finished with figures of 4-1-18-5. Interestingly, he had taken all his 5 wickets in a space of 9 balls!
Thisara Perera vs India 2016
With the Indian batsmen smacking the Sri Lankan bowlers all across the ground, Thisara Perera managed to put brakes to some extent as he registered a hat-trick in the final three deliveries of the 19th over.
The all-rounder started with the wicket of Hardik Pandya before getting the better of Raina and Yuvraj. Perera’s feat helped Sri Lanka restrict India below 200, but they lost the match eventually by a big margin of 69 runs.