Friday, 26 November 2010

The hattrick

By the time you read this you will know whether England bowlers managed to find the right length on the second day at the Gabba.  Length seemed to do it for Siddle on the first day.

Birthday boy
 Was it not that flamboyant batsman Oscar Wilde who put the following words into Lady Bracknell's mouth in his timeless play The Importance of Being Side On in the Delivery Stride, 'To lose one wicket  may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness, but to lose 3 in a row on the first day of the Ashes is a bloody disaster.'?

How can it happen?  Hattricks are exceedingly rare.   There have been 38 in Test History.  In Fantasy Bob's long and undistinguished career he has achieved only one and that was many years ago.  So long ago that the memory is now fading and sepia-toned  - 3 middle order bats, 2 bowled, one LBW (no referral) and a modest hand shake with his team mates.  Of course his first thoughts were, 'Shit! I can't afford to buy every one a beer.'  Whether it was the fear of the financial penalty that unconsciously has marred the third ball in subsequent hattrick attempts, FB will leave his readers to determine.  But he has not managed to repeat the feat.

Indeed FB has rarely witnessed a hattrick.  But 2 occured in Carlton ranks last season.  One by 14 year old left armer Cheeky Gosain playing on the adjacent pitch to FB and one later in the season under FB's stern captaincy when Neil Browning did the trick.  Neil is Australian and promptly returned to the land of Oz at the end of the season, obviously taking the hattrick habit with him.  On landing in Oz he must have siddled up to Siddle and said 'Listen, mate, nothing to it, this is what you do.'  And like all Carlton coaching tips it worked.  Rats!
Hattrick king

The last time England succumbed to the hattrick was to Shane Warne's (who? was he any good?) at Melbourne in December 1994.  England's last hattrick hero is Ryan Sidebottom in New Zealand in March 2008.  Their last in the Ashes was by Darren Gough in Sydney in January 1999.

But the Test hattrick King of the modern era must be the great Wasim Akram.  He has 2 to his name, both against Sri Lanka in consecutive matches and he also one of the few who has taken 4 wickets in 5 balls in a Test.


  1. You ought to have wished Siddle on his birthday at the very least.

  2. Thanks Golandaaz - Fantasy Bob is sorry if it seems rude, but Siddle did not send Fantasy Bob birthday wishes either.