Oops! Tassie Bowler Takes Accidental Hat-Trick
D'Oh! Actually, Woohoo!
Tasmanian bowler Gurinder Sandhu -- who you might remember from such teams as the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash -- has just taken a very unexpected hat-trick in the final of the interstate one-day cricket Cup, the JLT Cup.
Sydney-born Sandhu has played for the Thunder and NSW Blues since 2012, but moved to Tasmania over the winter and is already spearheading the Tigers bowling attack.
Today, he thwarted Victoria's hopes for a huge total on home turf, taking a remarkable 7-56 to reduce the hosts to a very chaseable 274. There were some memorable moments, like this dismissal of the dangerous Peter Handscomb:
But what everyone will remember is the final three balls of the innings.
Three balls to go. Matt Short is caught by Doolan. The big excitement at this stage is the five-wicket haul for Sandhu -- a milestone he has achieved just once previously.
Two to go. Fawad Ahmed is bowled. This surprises no one. In fact, Ahmed's ineptitude is amusing in the manner of two cats driving a toy car.
One to go. It's the hat-trick ball but there's no big song and dance about it because it's the last ball of the innings, too. All eyes are on the scoreboard, not the record books.
Sandhu runs in. He has a plan -- as he later reveals to reporter Mark Howard -- and that plan is to bowl a yorker right at the batsman's feet.
Instead he delivers a ball on a shortish length which any decent batsman would hit into the nearby Albert Park Lake. Anrew Fekete is not such a player, and meekly bunts the juicy offering to George Bailey at mid off.
And that, friends, is how Gurinder Sandhu took his first ever hat-trick at this level of cricket, despite bowling a ball not even close to the one he wanted. And it's why Tasmania are currently chasing a much smaller than expected target.
After 33 overs, the Tigers were struggling at 6-133, still requiring 145 runs for victory.