31st October 1987: Chetan Sharma Registers First World Cup Hat-trick

chetan-sharma

This was the year of the World Cup, and India needed a big win over New Zealand in order to finish ahead of Australia and secure a home semi-final.

Chetan Sharma registered the first ever World Cup hat-trick, as he accounted for Ken Rutherford, Ian Smith and Ewen Chatfield with the last three balls of his sixth over.
All three were clean bowled, as New Zealand were dismissed for 222.

India needed to chase the target in 42.2 overs, but thanks to some sensational batting from Kris Srikanth and Sunil Gavaskar, they reached the target in just 32.1 overs.

Srikanth smashed 75 from 58 balls as he was on his usual destructive self, but the surprise package was Sunil Gavaskar, as he smashed his only ODI ton off 85 balls.

Wisden Almanack described the chase as “batting of breathtaking brilliance.”

India eventually went onto lose the semi-final to England, as Graham Gooch smashed a wonderful century, scoring 115 in the semi-final, and sweeping away the Indian spinners.

However, Chetan Sharma’s achievement was soon forgotten as he conceded a last ball six to Javed Miandad in Sharjah, and as India lost the match to Pakistan, Sharma became the perennial villan of Indian cricket.

He ended up playing 23 Tests, taking 61 wickets at an average of 35.46. His ODI career was slightly longer as he played 65 matches and took 67 wickets at an average of 34.87.

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