Bowlers have always played a big role in the lower formats of the game being major factors in the game. Taking a hat-trick is quite a rare feat in itself and a serious dent in the opposition's batting. But there have been instances when the bowlers have done one better and picked up 4 wickets in 4 balls. Often referred to as a “ double hat-trick”, This is a rare feat that has happened only on a few occasions in international cricket.
Today to begin with we take a look at 3 such instances where the bowlers have managed to stun their opponents by taking 4 wickets in 5 balls.
1) MJC Allom (England)
Maurice Allom was a tall 6 ft 6-inch cricketer who played for Cambridge and Surrey. By trade a right-hand fast bowler, who spearheaded the attack for England and made the ball swerve quite alarmingly in Christchurch when England took on New Zealand in 1930. Debutant Maurice Allom struck Gold in the 8th over, he picked the wickets of Stuart Dempster, Lowry, Ken James, and Ted Badcock starting from his second ball to the sixth, only the third ball being wicketless.
This was the first instance such a feat was accomplished.
2) Chris Old (England)
In June 1978, when Pakistan toured England, the first test of the three-match series was in for a feat where history was going to repeat itself. Chris Old, a right-arm fast bowler wreaked havoc in the Pakistan camps cleaning up the lower order to pick up 4 wickets in 5 balls, with only a no-ball separating two consecutive wickets. Finishing up with the figures 7 for 50 in the first innings, England went onto win the first match.
3) Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
Wasim Akram was one of the greatest bowlers in the history of cricket and could make the ball swing in both directions causing much trouble to the opposing batsman. These words rang true again when West Indies toured Pakistan in 1990. During the third Test of the 3 match series, West Indies held the upper hand after the first innings of both teams were over. Wasim Akram led the fightback in style, claiming 4 West Indies batsmen in 5 balls helping Pakistan draw the match.
While bowlers did accomplish picking up 4 wickets in 5 balls, some very exceptional bowlers have done the unthinkable and gone on to complete the feat in 4 consecutive balls. Let's take a look at the bowlers who have completed this rare feat.
Bowlers with 4 wickets in 4 balls
1) Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga sent shivers down the spines of the South African batsmen in March 2007, in the 2007 World Cup when he took four wickets in a row running through the lower and middle order. South Africa cruising towards what could seem an easy win, met the unstoppable force of Malinga in the 45th over. When the Lankan pacer tore through the Proteas batting order picking up 4 wickets in 4 balls causing a very nervy end for the South African team.
The destructive pacer Lasith Malinga repeated the feat when he removed Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Colin de Grandhomme, and Ross Taylor off consecutive deliveries in the third Twenty20 International between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Pallekele. Leaving the Kiwi batsman reeling, their whole innings folded for 88 with Malinga ending up with the figures 5 for 6 in 4 overs. This time Sri Lanka was able to comfortably win the match by 37 runs.
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Afghan star spinner Rashid Khan produced a sensational bowling performance to claim an amazing 5fer which includes a hat-trick and 4 wickets in 4 balls to star against Ireland in the third T20 International of the three-match series. The spin bowler removed Kevin O'Brien, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, and Simi Singh in the 17th over, effectively killing the chances of winning the game for the Ireland cricket team, in turn, Rashid Khan became the first bowler to take 4 wickets in 4 balls in T20I cricket history.
With only 6 separate occasions on when this feat was recorded, it takes a lot of luck and some special magic for bowlers to complete this magical feat. With a lot of bowlers looking forward to writing their names in the history books of cricket.
Let us know which bowler impressed you the most and who has the most potential to add his name to this list.
Cover Credits: CricketCircle