The Beard and Hat-Trick Test

I’ve just arrived where I shall be for the next two weeks (of which more anon), but I couldn’t resist noting today’s remarkable finale of the Third Test between England and South Africa, which ended with Moeen Ali taking the last three wickets in consecutive balls. A hat-trick, no less. Quite a spectacular ending for the 100th Test Match played at the Oval.

I was so excited by Moeen’s performance that I tweeted about it and ended up on the BBC website with this analysis:

Fame at last!

The `inimitable Keith Flett’ didn’t need any encouragement from me to write a blog post pointing out that Moeen is the first England player with a beard ever to take a Test hat-trick.

Incidentally, there were quite a few comments on social media about the timing of Joe Root’s declaration, mainly arguing that he’d waited too long. I certainly wouldn’t have declared unless and until England had a lead of 450+, so thought he got it about right. More importantly, his team won with plenty of time to spare.

It’s been a truly topsy-turvy series so far, with England thumping South Africa at Lord’s and the Oval, but losing heavily at Trent Bridge in between. I wonder what will happen in the final test, at Old Trafford?

Probably it will rain…

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3 Responses to “The Beard and Hat-Trick Test”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    No rain on the Sunday at Old Trafford, please!

    It was of course three consecutive balls by Moeen – the meaning of a hat trick – but an over by Stokes was bowled from the other end between Moeen’s second and third wickets. At that point Stokes had just taken two slip catches for the first two wickets of Moeen’s hat trick. Stokes got the man of the match award, but I’d have given it to Roland-Jones for his 8 wickets on debut.

    Here are the 43 Test match hat tricks to date:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Test_cricket_hat-tricks

    I was present at Dominic Cork’s in 1995.

    • telescoper Says:

      If I remember correctly, I think both Stokes and Roland-Jones was also on a hat-trick, having each taken wickets with consecutive balls: de Kock & du Plessis and Bavuma & Philander, respectively.

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    Here is a nice quiz of binary questions about Moeen’s hat trick:

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/20209854/yes-no-was-moeen-hat-trick-first

    Too bad it does’t include “first with a beard for England?”

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