Adelaide: Pacer Josh Little has created history by becoming just the sixth player to claim a hat-trick at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and the second from Ireland to complete the feat.
Little picked up the hat-trick when he dismissed three New Zealand batters with consecutive deliveries from the penultimate over of their clash at the Adelaide Oval on Friday, joining team-mate Curtis Camper as Ireland players to have registered the rare feat.
The left-armer picked up the big scalps of Kane Williamson, Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner in the 19th over of the match against New Zealand, with consecutive LBW decisions on the final two deliveries clinching the unlikely achievement.
It means Little finishes the T20 World Cup with an impressive 11 scalps, with his figures of 3/22 against New Zealand meaning the 23-year-old finished with a total of 7/59 from 11 overs against the Kiwis, England and Australia.
Little’s heroics overshadowed a return to form by Williamson as the New Zealand captain hit 61 from just 35 deliveries to help his side put on 185/6 after being sent into bat by Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie.
The Kiwi captain showed glimpses of his best during his innings, finding the middle of the bat on numerous occasions until he was undone by Little.
Campher’s hat-trick at last year’s event came against the Netherlands as he picked up the wickets of Colin Ackermann, Ryan ten Doeschate, Scott Edwards and Roelof van der Merwe to complete an even rarer double hat-trick.
There has now been a total of six hat-tricks at T20 World Cups over the years, with two of them coming at this year’s event in Australia.
UAE spinner Karthik Meiyappan picked up the first hat-trick in Australia during his side’s loss to Sri Lanka in Geelong in the First Round.