New Delhi: In a sensational opening spell, Worcestershire bowler Joe Leach took a hat-trick with the first three balls on Sunday against Northamptonshire in a Royal London One-Day Cup, Group A match.
After electing to bat first at New Road, Northamptonshire lost the wickets of Richard Levi, Rob Keogh and skipper Ben Duckett off the first three deliveries of the match.
Before Leach, Sri Lankan legend Chaminda Vaas had achieved this feat, still a record in Test or one-day international history. The left-arm pace bowler took the wickets of Hannan Sarkar, Mohammad Ashraful and Ehsanul Haque of Bangladesh in a 2003 Cricket World Cup, Group B match at Pietermaritzburg. Vaas went onto take another wicket, that of Sanwar Hossain, to make it a four-wicket opening over.
Interestingly, another Sri Lankan bowler Nuwan Zoysa also took a hat-trick with his first three balls in a Test match against Zimbabwe in Harere in 1999, but that was in the second over of the match.
Leach, 24, joined Worcestershire in 2012 after making his First-class debut as a Surrey player early the same year.
2015 edition of the 18-team limited-over cricket competition began on July 25 with two groups stage, which will progress to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final, to be played on September 19 at the Lord's.