Right-arm fast bowler Mohammed Shami picked up a sensational hat-trick on Saturday to help India claim a close victory over Afghanistan. The pacer first took the wicket of the dangerous Mohammad Nabi (52) who was caught by Hardik Pandya at the boundary while trying to clear the ropes and then polished off the two tail-ending batsmen Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
History was created for India at the World Cup after 32 years as the last Indian bowler to take a hat-trick at the global event was Chetan Sharma who did it against New Zealand in Nagpur. That hat-trick of 1987 was the first-ever in the World Cup while Shami was the 10th man to achieve the same. Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga is the only bowler to have taken two hat-tricks in the World Cup (2007 and 2011).
"It is always a great feeling when your own countryman achieves something you did so many years ago. When Shami got his third wicket, I was immediately transported to Nagpur's VCA Ground 32 years ago," Chetan Sharma was quoted as saying by TOI.
I had the world at my feet
Sharma pointed out how Shami's feat will help revive memories of an Indian first over three decades ago. "The current generation may not know what I achieved three decades ago, but now they will know thanks to Shami," he said, "The young generation will now know that the first World Cup hat-trick was taken by an Indian.
"I had the world at my feet back then. The next day, when I boarded the flight with the team for the semifinal, all the passengers stood up and applauded for me as I made my way in. It was a memorable moment, I still get goose bumps thinking about it. To top that, the front page of Times of India too had my photo in it and it just made my day."
The former Indian pacer is more readily remembered for conceding a last-ball six to Javed Miandad that helped Pakistan beat India in Sharjah at the Australasia Cup final in 1986. "Many remember me as the one whom Miandad hit for a six in the last ball in Sharjah but they forget that I was the one who first got a hat-trick in a World Cup a year later," he concluded.