South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj on Monday, took his maiden hat-trick in international cricket as he became only the second player from his country to take a hat-trick in Test matches after Geoff Griffin’s in Lord’s in 1960 against England.
Maharaj took the wickets of Kieran Powell, Jason Holder and Joshua Da Silva on the third, fourth and fifth deliveries of the 37th over of the fourth innings of the second Test match between West Indies and South Africa. West Indies were in trouble at 107/3 after 36 overs as they still required 217 runs more.
Maharaj further broke their back as he first dismissed the left-hander Powell when the latter hit a slog-sweep straight into the hands of the square leg fielder. The next ball, another flighted delivery and Jason Holder prodded at it and got an inside edge onto the pad and straight into the hands of the short-leg fielder. The hat-trick delivery to the wicket-keeper batsman Joshua Da Silva, a straighter delivery angled onto the leg-side, Da Silva got a fine tickle into the hands of the leg slip Wiaan Mulder, who took a stunning grab and Maharaj entered into the history books, becoming the first South African player in Test cricket to take a hat-trick in last 60 years.
HAT-TRICK Keshav Maharaj!
He’s only the second South African in history to take three in three in Test cricket.
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) June 21, 2021
HAT-TRICK SCENES pic.twitter.com/ylltO51ROc
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 21, 2021
As soon as it happened, it was all joy and jubilation as South African players ran in to celebrate with the spinner, who laid flat on the ground. Maharaj was only 42nd player in Test cricket to take a hat-trick, while it was the 46th hat-trick in Test matches with former Australian bowlers Hugh Trumble, Jimmy Mathews, former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram and England pacer Stuart Broad, all with two hat-trciks.
South Africa, owing to Rassie van der Dussen’s unbeaten knock of 75 runs set a daunting target of 324 runs for West Indies to chase. Proteas are leading the series 1-0.