Ntini claims hat-trick
As Chennai Super Kings registered another win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday (May 18) evening under the Duckworth/Lewis method in a storm-affected DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) match, the person who emerges as the unseen hero at the Eden Garden is the South African Makhaya Ntini. He became the third bowler to take a hat-trick in the Indian Premier League.
Playing for Chennai Super Kings, the bowler claimed four crucial wickets while restricting Kolkata at 149 for 5. Ntini in his hat-trick spell took his first wicket in last ball of his third over when he deposed Sourav Ganguly’s stumps result of an ambitious stroke as Knight Riders already had two boundaries from the over.
Returning to bowl after 11 overs and the last one of his spell, he dismissed Debabrata Das (27) and Australian David Hussey (0) with successive balls. But the hat-trick celebration went unnoticed as Chennai players were unaware of the fact that Ntini had taken the first wicket in the last ball of his 3rd over; before claiming another two in first two balls of 4th over. Ntini ended up with figures of 4/21 in his four overs.
Before the rain came down, Chennai had a decent start of 55 for no loss in eight overs as both the openers Parthiv Patel (19) and Stephen Fleming (32) take on paceman Shoaib Akhtar and Ishant Sharma wisely. Chennai was later declared winner of the match on the Duckworth/Lewis method by three runs as they were three runs ahead of the math figure.
Other IPL Hat-trick holders
L. Balaji (Chennai Super Kings): The first IPL T20 hat-trick went to the record of Chennai bowler Laxmipati Balaji, who after a long gap from first-class cricket produced a great spell of 5 for 24 as Chennai overwhelmed Kings XI Punjab by 18 runs. In that match Punjab only managed to accumulate 163/9 while chasing a target of 182 for victory.
A. Mishra (Delhi Daredevils): The Second IPL hat-trick was probably the more embellished one as spinner Amit Mishra twisted it in his final to lead Delhi Daredevils to a 12-run victory over Deccan Chargers. He ended up with a figure of five for 17 on that day.
Consistent performances by bowlers like Shaun Pollock, Glen McGrath and three hat-tricks so far in the inaugural event of IPL certainly prove that Twenty20 cricket is not tailor-made for batsmen and there is enough space for bowlers too, provided they stick to the basics.
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