Cricket

On this day in 2006: Irfan Pathan stunned Pakistan, became first to take a hat-trick in first over of a Test

A hat-trick is probably one of the greatest achievements for any bowler since they are hard to come by. And if the hat-trick is earned during a match against one of your arch-rivals, it becomes even more special.

Former Indian left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan achieved this phenomenal feat on the first day of the third Test match between India and Pakistan on this day, 29 January, in 2006.

The match which was held in Karachi, etched Pathan’s name in the record books for being the second Indian to take a Test hat-trick and only the first to do so in the first over of a Test match. 16 years later, we take a look at the career-defining moment of this prominent swing bowler.

It was the third and final Test of the series against Pakistan. The previous two Tests were drawn. India, under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy, won the toss and decided to bowl first. Pathan was given the new ball and Pakistani batter Salman Butt was on strike.

Pathan’s first three deliveries were dot balls. In the fourth delivery, left-arm pacer Pathan swung the ball and it moved slightly away from Butt, finding the outside edge of his bat. The catch was taken by Dravid in the slips as Butt got out for a duck off the fourth ball.

Pakistani skipper Younis Khan walked in at No 3. Pathan went back to his mark and dished out an in-swinging ball for the right-hander Younis. He tried to play across the line and paid the price. The batter was rapped on the pads and the umpire had no hesitation in giving him out.

One of Pakistan’s best batter at that time, Mohammad Yousuf walked in next to face Pathan, who was totally on fire that day. Pathan came up with perhaps his best delivery that day which swung late and it went through the right-hander’s bat and pad. The ball cannoned into the stumps of the batter and he was bowled!

It was a hat-trick and the stadium roared with applause as Pathan became the first pacer and second Indian after Harbhajan Singh to have achieved this feat.

However, unfortunately, India lost that Test match by 341 runs as Pakistan won the series 1-0. Nevertheless, Pathan ruled the show that day and is still remembered for his monumental record.

The cricketer retired in January 2020 after representing India in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is.

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Updated Date: January 29, 2022 10:32:32 IST

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