Starc breaks 39-year drought

The Sunday Times - - SUNDAY SESSION - Peter Carter

LIGHT­NING struck twice at Hurstville Oval last week when NSW and Aus­tralian left-arm paceman Mitch Starc took hat-tricks to end both WA in­nings.

Starc, pic­tured, be­came just the eighth player to take two hat-tricks in the one first-class match, and the first since left-arm ortho­dox bowler Amin Lakhani, for Uni­ver­si­ties and Young Pakistan against a near Test-strength In­dian team at Mul­tan in 1978.

Two of the eight bowlers cap­tured two hat-tricks in the one in­nings.

Play­ing for Mid­dle­sex against Som­er­set at Lord’s in 1907, Al­bert Trott grabbed four wick­ets in four balls and then fin­ished off the vis­i­tors’ in­nings with a con­ven­tional hat-trick.

Sadly, Trott, who ap­peared twice for Eng­land against South Africa af­ter ear­lier play­ing three Ashes Tests for Aus­tralia (he made 195 un­beaten runs in his first three in­nings), took his own life aged 41.

In a 1963 Ranji Tro­phy match at Am­rit­sar, Ser­vices right-arm medium-pacer Jogin­der Rao cap­tured 7-30 – in­clud­ing twin hat-tricks – in North­ern Pun­jab’s sec­ond in­nings.

This was just Rao’s sec­ond first-class ap­pear­ance.

Less than a week ear­lier in Delhi – in his de­but bowl­ing in­nings – he took 6-24 in­clud­ing a hat-trick as Jammu and Kash­mir col­lapsed from 1-31 to 7-31 en route to 47 all out. Three hat-tricks in his first two games. Alas, af­ter tak­ing 21 wick­ets at a miserly 9.67 in five Ranji Tro­phy matches span­ning just 20 days, Rao’s first-class ca­reer was over. A cap­tain in the In­dian Army, Rao was in­jured in a parachut­ing ac­ci­dent, but later rep­re­sented his coun­try in golf.

The other four twin hat-trick­ers are:

Al­fred Shaw – Not­ting­hamshire v Glouces­ter­shire, at Not­ting­ham in 1884. Shaw had bowled the first ball in Test cricket, against Aus­tralia at the MCG on March 15, 1877.

Jimmy Matthews – Aus­tralia v South Africa, at Old Traf­ford in 1912. Bizarrely, Matthews’ hat-tricks were his only wick­ets for the match and he fin­ished with just 16 in an eight-Test ca­reer. The Vic­to­rian leg-spin­ner dis­missed Spring­bok wick­et­keeper and Test debu­tant Tom Ward for a king pair. Char­lie Parker – Glouces­ter­shire v Mid­dle­sex, at Bris­tol in 1924. Parker took 3278 wick­ets in 635 first-class games, yet played just the one Test (an Ashes draw in 1921). Roland Jenk­ins – Worces­ter­shire v Sur­rey, at Worces­ter in 1949. The leg-spin­ner snared 32 wick­ets in nine Tests.

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