In-Depth Stats

Hat-tricks in Test Cricket: A Complete Stats Report

A hat-trick in cricket is achieved when a bowler dismisses three different batsmen in three successive deliveries.

Undoubtedly, a hat-trick is tough to take in any formats but the stakes are even higher in Test cricket, the longest format of the game. Mere 45 hat-tricks by 41 different bowlers in the history of Test cricket spanning over 143 years, is a testimony to the fact.

Australian pacer Fred Spofforth was the first bowler to record a Test hat-trick on January 2, 1879, in only the third Test match ever. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Naseem Shah picked up a hat-trick against Bangladesh in February 2020 to be the latest inductee of the elite list.

Now, let’s dive into some stats about hat-tricks in Test cricket:

Most Test Hat-tricks by Players

Out of 41 bowlers who’ve taken one Test hat-trick at least, 4 have actually done it twice.

The four bowlers who have taken multiple (2) Test hat-tricks are listed below:

Hugh TrumbleAustralia2
Jimmy MatthewsAustralia2
Wasim AkramPakistan2
Stuart BroadEngland2
Table: Bowlers with multiple hat-tricks in Test Cricket

Key Stats:

  • Australian leg-spinner Jimmy Matthews is the only player in history to take two hat-tricks in the same Test match. Playing against South Africa, Jimmy Matthews took a hat-trick in South Africa’s first and second innings, both taken on 28 May 1912.
  • Both the hat-tricks of Hugh Trumble were against England, in 1902 and 1904 respectively.
  • Stuart Broad took his hat-tricks against India and Sri Lanka in 2011 and 2014, respectively.
  • Wasim Akram took his two hat-tricks in just over a week apart, in consecutive matches both against Sri Lanka. Read Wasim Akram’s five other insane cricketing records.

Here is a video on Wasim Akram’s Test and ODI hat tricks:

Video Credit: Cricket Classics – Youtube Page

Most Test Hat-tricks by Countries

All the test-playing nations whose players have achieved this feat are tabulated below with the number of hat-tricks:

England14Billy Gates (1983)Moeen Ali (2017)
Australia11Fred Spofforth (1879)Peter Siddle (2010)
Pakistan5Wasim Akram (1999)Naseem Shah (2020)
West Indies4Wes Hall (1959)Jermaine Lawson (2003)
India3Harbhajan Singh (2001)Jasprit Bumrah (2019)
Bangladesh2Alok Kapali (2003)Sohag Gazi (2013)
Sri Lanka2Nuwan Zoysa (1999)Rangana Herath (2016)
New Zealand2Peter Petgerick (1976)James Franklin (2004)
South Africa1Geoff Griffin (1960)Geoff Griffin (1960)
Zimbabwe1Andy Blignaut (2004)Andy Blignaut (2004)
Table: Test playing nations and no. of Test hat-tricks taken by their players

Key Stats:

  • Ireland and Afghanistan are the only Test playing nations whose players haven’t taken a Test hat-trick yet.
  • Australia is the only team which has two players who have taken the Test hat-trick twice.
  • Pakistan’s Wasim Akram and Mohammad Sami are the only two bowlers to take a hat-trick in both Test matches as well as ODIs.

England’s Test Hat-tricks

Billy Bates, in 1883, became the first Englishman and second player overall to take a Test hat-trick.

12 other English players have taken a hat-trick in Test cricket. They are (chronologically): Johnny Briggs, George Lohmann, Jack Hearne, Maurice Allom, Tom Goddard, Peter Loader, Dominic Cork, Darren Gough, Matthew Hoggard, Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad (twice) and Moeen Ali.

Australia’s Test hat-tricks

Australia’s Fred Spofforth was the first ever bowler to achieve this feat. Since then, 8 more Australian bowlers, namely, Hugh Trumble, Jimmy Matthews, Lindsay Kline, Merv Hughes, Damien Fleming, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, and Peter Siddle have recorded a Test hat-trick. Of them, Trumble and Matthews have recorded two each.

Pakistan’s Test hat-tricks

Wasim Akram took the first two Test hat-tricks for a Pakistani bowler. After him, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Sami and Naseem Shah have done it once each.

West Indies’ Test hat-tricks

Wes Hall took a Test hat-trick against Pakistan in 1959, becoming the first Caribbean bowler to do so. Lance Gibbs, Courtney Walsh and Jermaine Lawson were the other three to take a Test hat-trick for Windies after Hall.

India’s Test hat-tricks

Harbhajan Singh’s hat-trick against Australia in 2001 was the first one taken by an Indian player. Only two other bowlers (Irfan Pathan and Jasprit Bumrah) have achieved it since then for India.

Youngest Bowlers to take a Test hat-trick

Naseem Shah, the latest entrant into the list of bowlers with a Test hat-trick, is also the youngest. He was 16 years and 259 days old when he took a hat-trick against Bangladesh earlier this year.

The 5 youngest bowlers to take a Test hat-trick are presented in the table below:

Naseem Shah (Pak)16Y 359DBangladesh
Alok Kapali (Ban)19Y 240DPakistan
Abdul Razzaq (Pak)20Y 202DSri Lanka
Harbhajan Singh (Ind)20Y 251DAustralia
Geoff Griffin (SA)21Y 12DEngland
Table: Top 5 Youngest Bowlers to take a Test hat-trick

Key Stats:

  • England’s Tom Goddard was 38 years and 87 days old when he took his Test hat-trick, making him the oldest player to do so.
  • Talking of age, Australia’s Peter Siddle is the only bowler to take a hat-trick on his birthday.
  • England’s Maurice Allom, New Zealand’s Peter Petherick and Australia’s Damien Fleming are the only three players who have taken a hat-trick in their Test debut.
  • Bangladesh’s Alok Kapali, who is the second youngest bowler to take a Test hat-trick, picked up only 6 wickets in his entire Test career.

More Facts and Stats

  • Bangladeshi off-spinner Sohag Gazi is the only player to take a hat-trick and score a century in the same Test match.
  • Australia’s Merv Hughes took three wickets in three different overs to complete his hat-trick. He dismissed Curtly Ambrose with the final delivery of an over. With the first ball of his next over, he removed Patrick Patterson to end the first innings of West Indies. He then took the wicket of Gordon Greenidge off the very first delivery of the West Indies’ second innings to complete the hat-trick.
  • Courtney Walsh and Jermaine Lawson are other two bowlers whose hat-trick took both the innings for completion.
  • T J Matthews (both hat-tricks), Dominic Cork, Mohammed Sami and Jermaine Lawson all achieved their hat-tricks without fielding assistance i.e. all three wickets were either ‘bowled’ or ‘lbw’.
  • 5 Test hat-tricks have been recorded in Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which is the most number of hat-tricks at a single venue.
  • India’s Irfan Pathan is the only bowler to have taken a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match. He did so against arch-rivals Pakistan in 2006.

Here is the video on Irfan Pathan Test hat trick against Pakistan:

Video Credit: OverThe Top Youtube Page

Wrap Up

Hat-trick is truly the most special feat for a bowler and I’ve tried compiling some of the most special facts about it in this post. Hope you enjoyed reading it!

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