Can you think of a better start than having your opponents three wickets on the very first three deliveries of their innings ? Well , I guess it’s the best a rational man would think of. This feat happened today in a Royal London One Day Cup match between Worcestershire & Northamptonshire, when Worcestershire pacer Joe Leach took a hat-trick on the first three bowls of the Northamptonshire innings, thereby starting the match in the best possible fashion for his side.
In a fully packed stadium at Worcester, Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell gave the new ball to Leach and then Leach hit the bull’s eye in on the very first delivery by getting Richard Levi caught behind. He replicated the proceedings on the second ball by getting Rob Keogh dismissed in the same fashion. Then came the third delivery which saw Ben Duckett caught in the gully to complete an incredible feat of hat-trick. The splendid over initiated a tragic collapse for Northamptonshire who at one stage staggered at 6 for 19. Later, Rory Kleinveldt anchored his side to a slightly fightable score of 126 runs to complete the innings of Northamptonshire.
Leach’s feat has been done earlier only once by Chaminda Vaas when Sri Lanka played against Bangladesh in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, which led Sri Lanka to a 10-wicket win. Even when Leach led his side bravely in bowling, his team seemed to fumble in batting and staggered at 6-50 at one stage following a low total and may be succumbing to the undue pressure.