NSW quick collects second hat-trick for match to secure Blues a famous Sheffield Shield win.
Mitchell Starc has created history in sensational fashion at Hurstville Oval after becoming the first bowler to take two hat-tricks in the one Sheffield Shield match.
In his final match ahead of Australia’s Magellan Ashes campaign, Starc sealed a 171-run victory for NSW when he completed his second hat-trick of NSW’s JLT Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia on Tuesday.
Having removed Jason Behrendorff, David Moody and Simon Mackin in the Warriors’ first innings to complete his first career hat-trick, the left-armer eyed the unfathomable on Tuesday when he removed Behrendorff and Moody off the final two deliveries of his 15th over.
WA No.6 Jono Wells then edged to Australia and NSW captain Steve Smith at first slip to send the Blues into rapturous celebrations.
No bowler had ever previously taken two hat-tricks in the one Sheffield Shield match, and it has only been done on seven previous occasions in first-class cricket.
Starc had sent a pre-Ashes message to England on Sunday with his first hat-trick against WA, clean bowling Behrendorff and Simon Mackin either side of a Moody lbw all with searing yorkers delivered from around the wicket to the right-handers.
That had brought about a quick end to the visitors’ first dig and handed NSW a lead of 94, before a Smith century left WA needing 395 on the final day to snare an unlikely win.
After a 179-run opening stand between Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft gave WA some hope, Starc again cleaned up the tail in decisive fashion.
Behrendorff (caught behind by ‘keeper Peter Nevill this time) and Moody (bowled by another yorker) were again the two initial victims in successive balls.
But No.11 Mackin this time found himself at the non-strikers’ end for the hat-trick ball after surviving the last ball of Cummins’ intervening over.
It mattered little as Wells’ 73-ball stay came to an end, with Smith clinging on to the match-winner and record-clincher to send a delighted Starc bounding away from his chasing teammates.
The 27-year-old, who stated pre-match that this game would be his final tune-up ahead of the first Test against England at the Gabba from November 23 as part of a pre-arranged management plan, has taken an incredible 17 wickets at 12.70 in two Shield matches for NSW this summer.
Starc took a career-best 8-73 in the Blues’ season-opener against South Australia under lights at Adelaide Oval, and looks in ominous touch ahead of the Test summer.
TWO HAT-TRICKS IN ONE FIRST-CLASS MATCH
Alfred Shaw – Nottinghamshire v Gloucestershire, at Nottingham in 1884
Albert Trott – Middlesex v Somerset, at Lord’s in 1907
Jimmy Matthews – Australia v South Africa, at Old Trafford in 1912
Charlie Parker – Gloucestershire v Middlesex, at Bristol in 1924
Roland Jenkins – Worcestershire v Surrey, at Worcester in 1949
Joginder Rao – Services v North Punjab, at Amritsar in 1963
Amin Lakhani – Combined XI v Indians, at Multan in 1979
Mitchell Starc – NSW v Western Australia, at Hurstville in 2017