Hat Trickster Shami joins a rare breed | Daily News


Hat Trickster Shami joins a rare breed

A hat-trick in any form of cricket be it school, club or international cricket, is a rare achievement that needs to be savoured and celebrated.

A bowler who made a hat-trick dream come true in the on going World Cup tournament in England and Wales was India’s medium pacer MOHAMMED SHAMI who performed this feat against Afghanistan with the wickets of Mohammad Nabi, Aftab Alam and Mujeeb ur Rahman to return figures of 4 for 40 with India struggling to avoid the ignominy of defeat against Afghanistan, SHAMI struck three vital blows to help India scrape through. Shami will remember that magic for the rest of his life. His three victims will also be remembered.

Like Shami, any bowler achieving this feat will go down in the history books of cricket and be an everlasting memory and talked about and join the exalted company of hat-trick takers.

Not many have the good fortune of achieving this task. The one and only bowler to take four wickets in four balls and in the prestigious World Cup 50 over a side tournament was Sri Lanka’s slinger with the golden arm LASITH MALINGA.

He made this rare effort a reality against the South Africans in a 2007 World Cup game in Guyana, West indies which is still being spoken about even 12 years later and which achievement would not be easily equaled or surpassed.

Aussies stuff the British Lions

When arch rivals England and Australia meet in any form of cricket the interest reaches fever pitch with the two teams craving for victory, with losing being anathema, fighting to maintain prestige.

In the ongoing World Cup 50 over cricket tournament which is reaching its home stretch, the meeting the other day of these two protagonists attracted more than ordinary interest, because it was must win game for both teams.

England with wickets, conditions and everything connected to the game in their favour and tagged red hot favourites by bookmakers to win the CWC that has been evading them since the inception of the CWC in 1975, took the field favourites at the holy land of cricket –Lord’s.

Before going on to comment on the game, this column would not be complete if mention is not made on the ugly behaviour of the British fans when David Warner and Steve Smith walked out to bat.

The English cricket fans who are generally well behaved and an example dropped their levels when they booed Warner and Smith. Looks like the English cricket fans are losing their levels. We would like to tell the fans that you don’t invite a guest and insult him.

The former Aussie captain and vice captain paid for their sins of ball tampering expressed regret for their brain fade and after receiving their punishment meted out by Cricket Australia, returned to the game which is their bread and butter and instead of being booed should have been cheered.

The booing did not go to deter Smith and Warner. On the contrary it made them all the more determined, encouraged and inspired not only them but their team mates as well who supported the duo by playing the better cricket to dent the pride of the British Lion who had to play second fiddle throughout the game and bow to the Australian superiority.

England captain the Irish born Eoin Morgan called correctly and having had a look at the wicket and the conditions prevailing and having ideas of bundling Australia out on a slightly looking green pitch chose to bowl first.

The idea of putting a side into bat is to allow the seam bowers the opportunity to make use of the moisture on the wicket and the conditions that favours seam and swing and bundle out the opponents for a gettable score in the chase.

That the England seam bowlers – Chris Woakes, the much hyped Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Ben Stokes could not oblige would have made Morgan rue his decision to field first and was a sad indictment on the England seam bowers.

Australian openers, captain Aaron Finch who has been in rollicking form with his destructive stroke play and Warner with his daring and dashing tore the heart out of the England bowlers when they hoisted an opening stand of 123 which was the foundation.

Finch who can punish any attack with his glorious and hard hitting stroke play, was brilliant once again as he demoralized the bowlers and England motoring to his second century in the tournament in 116 balls with 11 fours and two sixes. Warner gave him good support in making 53.

The Aussies suffered a few hiccups in the middle order, but managed to make 285 in 50 overs, which looked a formidable score and if England were to reach this score their batsmen would have to play from out of their skins.

Other than for Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes who stoked 89, the other England big guns failed to boom and could manage only 221 all out in 44.4 overs, conceding a 64-run defeat, which would have made their supporters who booed Warner and Smith red in the face.

The chief wrecker for the yellow shirts was left arm seam bowler Behrendorf who using the seam and swing conditions to advantage bowled intelligently to bemuse the Brit batting and return the excellent figures of 5 for 44.

The tall Mitchell Starc who is quietly moving into top gear had figures of 4 for 43. The batsmen are unable to read his two way swing and his toe crushing yorker and are falling easy prey. The Aussies with this gallant win have booked a semi-final berth in their attempt for sixth World Cup title.

Sri Lanka play their final game against the might of India tomorrow at Leeds their happy hunting ground. But chances of Sri Lanka beating India are slim. [email protected]

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