Sri Lanka veteran Lasith Malinga created history in Colombo on Friday, becoming just the second bowler to complete four separate international hat-tricks in the second T20I against Bangladesh in Colombo.
Pakistan legend Wasim Akram is the only other player to have achieved a quartet of international hat-tricks, with the left-armer having collected two in one-day internationals and two in Tests.
Malinga’s effort was also only the fifth time a hat-trick has been taken in the game’s shortest format on the international stage, joining Brett Lee, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee and Thisara Perera.
Given his incredible knack of running through a side’s lower-order, we’ve taken a look back at all four of Malinga’s international hat-tricks.
vs. South Africa in Guyana, 2007 World Cup
Victims: Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis, Makayha Ntini
Malinga kicked off his hat-trick taking ways with an extraordinary bowling performance in the 2007 one-day international showpiece event. Chasing Sri Lanka’s 209, the Proteas looked to have the game sealed when they reduced the equation of to five runs needed off 31 balls with five wickets in hand. Even after Malinga had rearranged Shaun Pollock’s leg-stump and had Andrew Hall caught at cover both with clever slower balls, Sri Lanka looked resigned to a comprehensive defeat. But when Jacques Kallis, on 86, nicked off on the first ball of his following over to complete Malinga’s hat-trick, the Lankans believed a miracle win was on the cards. Belief turned to delight when Malinga clean bowled Makayha Ntini the very next ball to make it four scalps in four deliveries. While South Africa managed scrape home by one wicket, Malinga’s blitz will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable World Cup bowling performances.
vs. Kenya in Colombo, 2011 World Cup
Victims: Tanmay Mishra, Peter Ongondo Shem Ngoche
In a thorough dismantling by the eventual finalists, Kenya felt the full wrath of Malinga’s yorkers with the slinger sending down three successive toe-crushers to complete his second World Cup hat-trick against an African nation. While Jimmy Kamande’s men were hardly household cricketing names, Malinga’s spell at the back-end of Kenya’s innings would almost certainly have accounted for more accomplished international cricketers. Tanmay Mishra became Malinga’s third victim of the match when he was trapped lbw, before two more searing yorkers cannoned into the base of the stumps to account for Peter Ogondo and Shem Ngoche. A wide followed but he claimed ended the innings later that over to make it four scalps in five legal balls, finishing with a devastating 6-38 as Sri Lanka cruised to victory.
vs. Australia in Colombo, fifth ODI, 2011
Victims: Mitchell Johnson, John Hastings, Xavier Doherty
Malinga’s remarkable ablilty to run through the tail was put on display once again when the right-armer completed a hat-trick of ODI hat-tricks, with this one coming against Australia. Holding an unassailable 3-1 series lead going into the final match in Colombo, Michael Clarke’s side lost 5-1 in 10 balls as Malinga again served up a trio of brilliant reverse-swinging deliveries. Mitchell Johnson, John Hastings and Xavier Doherty were the victims, all bowled or lbw to stump-seeking missiles from the rubber-shouldered Sri Lankan. While the win was only a consolation for the hosts, who also went on to lose the ensuing Test series, Malinga confirmed his reputation as arguably the most feared one-day bowler on the planet.
vs. Bangladesh at Colombo, second T20 International, 2017
Victims: Mushfiqur Rahim, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mehedi Hasan
While the 33-year-old is advancing in years, Malinga’s death-bowling skills appear well intact after he put on another late-innings masterclass against Bangladesh. In the penultimate over of the innings, the curly-haired speedster applied the brakes, clean-bowling Mushrfiqur Rahim with a slower ball before two more clever changes of pace accounted for skipper Mashrafe Mortaza and Mehedi Hasan off the next two balls. The feat clearly meant a lot to veteran, making history by becoming the first player to take hat-trick in both limited-overs formats. And it’d be a brave fan that says he won’t take another.