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On this day in 1997- Anthony Stuart took a hat-trick and never played again for Australia

Anthony Stuart. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Taking a hattrick at any level of the game- let alone the International level- is no mean feat. It is one of those special things that every bowler aspires to do whenever he marks his run-up, but very few people actually go on to achieve it. To vindicate the above statement in numbers, there have only been 49 hat-tricks in a total of 4231 One-day International matches. 

Jalal-ud-Din of Pakistan was the first bowler in the history of One-day International cricket who achieve the rare feat of affecting a hat-trick against Australia in 1982. Since then, the likes of Wasim Akram [2], Aqib Javed, Chetan Sharma, Brett Lee, Trent Boult, Lasith Malinga, Waqar Younis, Kuldeep Yadav [2], Kapil dev, Chaminda Vaas, have gobsmacked the folklore by taking hat-tricks.

But, do you know there is one more Australian apart from Lee, Bruce Reid, who took a hat-trick in One-day cricket? I bet you don’t! Because, the bowler in question- Anthony Stuart- did not get to play a single match for Australia despite taking a hattrick against Pakistan at the cauldron of cricket- Melbourne Cricket Ground

When Anthony Stuart bamboozled Pakistan to the tune of a hat-trick at the MCG

Tri-nation series were a regular part of the Australian home summer till 2008, and 1996-97 was another season where the Aussies were engaged in a tri-series, with Pakistan and West Indies serving as the other two participating nations.

And, it was on January 16th, 1997, during a group-stage fixture against Pakistan, that Anthony Stuart affected the finest moment of his international career. Stuart, who had claimed the first two Pakistani wickets, was hungry for more. And, he did get in his second spell.

First victim: Ijaz Ahmed- c Healy b Stuart

Ijaz Ahmed became the first victim of Stuart in his second spell when the right-hander edged a lovely outswinger straight to the wicket-keeper Ian Healy.

Second victim: Mohammad Wasim- c Healy b Stuart

Next in line was Mohammad Wasim, who fished at the delivery outside the off-stump, to give another simple catch to Healy.

Third Victim: Moin Khan- c Taylor b Stuart

And, then he backed it up with another brilliant delivery where he forced Moin Khan to the front foot and induced an outside edge that was safely gobbled by Mark Taylor in the slips. 

Stuart claimed a hat-trick but unfortunately for him, such as the competition for places in the Aussie side back then, that it turned out to be his last game for his country, making him the only bowler to take a hat-trick in their last ODI. As for the result of the game, Pakistan recovered to make 9-181 and it only took a special inning from Michael Bevan [79 not-out] for Australia to overhaul the total.

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