Picking up a hat-trick is arguably a bowler’s biggest delight. Dismissing three batsmen in three consecutive balls is no easy feat. It takes great discipline, accuracy, skill and a little bit of luck to achieve.
There have only been 19 instances in the Indian Premier League’s 13-year history where a bowler picked up a hat-trick. From Lakshmipathy Balaji in 2008 to Shreyas Gopal in 2019, we take a look at the IPL’s hat-trick heroes season by season.
2008 – Lakshmipathy Balaji, Amit Mishra and Makhaya Ntini
It was current Chennai Super Kings bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji who picked the first hat-trick of the tournament and set the tone for the others that followed. Turning up for the former, Balaji sizzled with stunning variations and changes of pace that foxed the Kings XI Punjab batsmen who succumbed three balls in a row.
It was then the first of many for Delhi Daredevils’ (now Capitals) Amit Mishra who picked up a hat-trick en route a five-wicket haul against Deccan Chargers. Makhaya Ntini of CSK then ensured Balaji wasn’t the only CSK player with a hat-trick by picking one against Kolkata Knight Riders. Interestingly, no CSK bowler picked up a hat-trick after Ntini in the history of the tournament.
2009 – Yuvraj Singh (twice) and Rohit Sharma
The second edition of the IPL witnessed unlikely hat-trick heroes. While Yuvraj Singh proved time and again during his playing days that he was more than capable of picking up wickets, he wasn’t a name one would associate with a feat like a hat-trick. But that was exactly what Yuvraj achieved in 2009. Not once. But twice! He ran through the opposition’s middle order in both instances with his left arm orthodox bowling.
The other hat-trick is probably the most surprising one in IPL history. It was none other than current Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma picking up a hat-trick against his future employers. Turning up for Deccan Chargers, Rohit Sharma emerged as the hero with the ball as the Chargers stifled MI in the second innings with wickets to clinch a low-scoring match.
2010, 2011, 2012 – Praveen Kumar, Ajit Chandila and Amit Mishra
There were no multiple hattricks from 2010 to 2012. Each year saw a solitary hat-trick. It was former Indian swing maestro Praveen Kumar who picked up a superb hat-trick with an exhibition of swing and technique in 2010. He was followed by the infamous Ajit Chandila in 2011.
Touted as a mystery spinner back then, Chandila turned up for Rajasthan Royals and ran through the Pune Warriors top order to clinch victory in an important league game. He then went on to sabotage his own career by getting involved in spot fixing. In 2012, it was Amit Mishra’s turn once again to pick up his second hat-trick with an excellent show of flight and deception.
2013 – Sunil Narine and Amit Mishra
It was the spinners’ turn to shine again in 2013 when then mystery spinner Sunil Narine joined Amit Mishra’s party to pick up a hattrick. Narine foxed the Kings XI Punjab batsmen with his unreadable spin bowling to pick up a well-deserved hat-trick that ended in a losing cause.
Amit Mishra was in the form of his life back then and it seemed like a third hat-trick was inevitable when he had picked 2 in 2 against Pune Warriors. And pick up his third hat-trick he did as his googlies ripped open the batsmen.
2014, 2016 – Pravin Tambe, Shane Watson and Axar Patel
The 2014 edition of the IPL saw two hat-tricks for the Rajasthan Royals franchise. The first was from then 42-year-old spinner Pravin Tambe who sparked a superb bowling performance for the Royals with a two-ball hat-trick (one of the wickets was a stumping following a wide) to choke the Kolkata Knight Riders chase. He was then followed by his captain Shane Watson whose excellent hat-trick helped restrict the Sunrisers Hyderabad to 134. However, RR faltered in the chase which meant the skipper’s hat-trick went in vain.
The 2015 season did not see a single hat-trick, the first such instance. Kings XI Punjab’s Axar Patel then set the 2016 IPL on fire by picking up a whopping four wickets in an over that included a hat-trick, against Gujarat Lions.
2017 – Samuel Badree, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat
For the first time after 2009, the 2017 edition of the IPL saw three hat-tricks. Samuel Badree of the Royal Challengers Bangalore started it with an early hat-trick in a small chase for the Mumbai Indians. His effort went in vain. He was then followed on the same day by Andrew Tye for the Gujarat Lions against Rising Pune Supergiant. The Australian made excellent use of change of pace and accuracy to dismiss his victims.
It was then Jaydev Unadkat‘s turn to join the party with a crucial hat-trick against Sunrisers Hyderabad that helped his side Rising Pune Supergiant record a narrow 12-run win.
2019 – Sam Curran and Shreyas Gopal
The 2018 IPL did not record a single hat-trick. Current Chennai Super Kings all-rounder and then Kings XI Punjab player Sam Curran was the first hat-trick taker of the 2019 IPL when his four-wicket haul and hat-trick helped KXIP script a thrilling comeback win over Delhi Capitals in a low-scoring encounter.
Rajasthan Royals’ leggie Shreyas Gopal became the second hat-trick taker of the season when he did it in a rain-curtailed game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The game was eventually washed out but Gopal’s hat-trick is considered one of the best in IPL history because his victims included Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis.
The 2020 season of the IPL hasn’t seen a single hat-trick so far.