Every bowler dreams to get his name etched in the memory of the opposition batsmen but there have been hardly any bowlers who have been able to come anywhere near Wasim Akram in this. The ‘Sultan of Swing’ was a tormentor with the ball, and rightfully, he has achieved double-double in terms of hat-tricks that is taking a pair of hat-tricks each in ODI and Tests. We bring to you the all the Wasim Akram hat-tricks.
- October 14, 1989 vs West Indies, Champions Trophy, Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium
West Indies were cruising at 209 for five needing just 52 runs to post a comprehensive victory. Captain Imran Khan tossed the ball Wasim Akram and the rest is history. Akram first knocked out Jeff Dujon with a beautiful in-swinger from round the wicket and followed it with another peach of a delivery to get rid of Malcolm Marshal. He completed his first one-day hat-trick by going through Curtly Ambrose’s defense, becoming just fourth player in the history to achieve the feat.
- May 4, 1990 vs Australia, Final of Australasia Cup, Sharjah Cricket Association
Australia were 230 for seven needing another 37 from the four overs left against a potent Pakistani pace-battery. However, the match finished in the blink of an eye as Akram cleaned up last three batsmen within next three deliveries, claiming his second one-day hat-trick in the process. Incidentally, just like his first hat-trick, all his three victims Merv Hughman, Carl Rackeman and Tony Alderman were out bowled!
- March 4-8, 1999 vs Sri Lanka, Asian Test Championship, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Pakistan had put up 398 runs on the board but Sri Lanka were looking dangerous at 320 for six. The first innings lead was vital and once again ‘Sultan of Swing’ delivered something exceptional. He first had Ramesh Kaluwitharna caught by Moin Khan and followed it up by cleaning up Bandaratilleke and Wickramsinghe to claim his first test hat-trick. It meant that Pakistan got the crucial first innings lead and went on to win the test match.
- March 12-15, 1999 vs Sri Lanka, Final of Asian Test Championship, Dhaka
Just a week after producing three magical balls at Lahore, Akram followed it with another three at Dhaka. He first had Gunawardene caught by Shahid Afridi in slips and then followed it with an inswinger to send back promoted Chaminda Vaas for duck on the last delivery of the first over. On the first delivery of the next over, he had Mahela Jayawardene caught by Wajahatullah Wasti to complete the incredible double-double of hat-trick in cricket.
With four hat-tricks to his name in International Cricket, Akram’s feat is still unmatched. In an era where batsmen are dominating the great, it feels great to remember back those moments and enjoy.