Melbourne, Feb 14 (IANS) England pacer Steven Finn Saturday took the first hat-trick of the 2015 cricket World Cup to become the seventh bowler to do so in the history of the event.
The 6′ 7″ Finn clinched the hat-trick on the last three deliveries of the Australian innings as they posted a mammoth 342/9 in 50 overs in their World Cup opener at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
First, the Englishman got rid of wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin with the fourth ball of the 50th over. The latter swung his bat which got a thick outside edge and was caught by Stuart Broad at deep third man.
All-rounder Glen Maxwell was the next man to go when Joe Root took an absolute blinder. Finn’s delivery was darted into Maxwell who hit it with power but Root ran right from long-off, dived to his right and pulled off a stunner.
The 25-year-old claimed his hat-trick when tail-ender Mitchell Johnson slapped the ball straight to James Anderson at mid-off.
Finn became the seventh bowler to take a hat-trick during the mega event while it was the eighth instance.
It all began as far back in the 1987 edition when India pacer Chetan Sharma claimed the first hat-trick of the quadrennial event against New Zealand.
Pakistan’s spin legend Saqlain Mushtaq got it 12 years later against Zimbabwe at The Oval in England.
Former Sri Lanka spearhead Chaminda Vaas claimed his prize in South Africa in 2003 against minnows Bangladesh while former Australia pace great Brett Lee too picked up three consecutive wickets against Kenya in the same edition by giving away just 14 runs in a Super Six tie.
Sri Lanka’s fast bowling spearhead Lasith Malinga has claimed it twice. In 2007 he took four wickets in four balls against South Africa and followed it up in 2011 against Kenya, where he bundled out the last three batsmen in three consecutive deliveries.
West Indies pacer Kemar Roach also has a hat-trick to his name which he scalped against the Netherlands in the same year.