UAE’s Meiyappan takes only fifth-ever hat-trick at a T20 World Cup

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UAE’s Karthik Meiyappan celebrates his hat-trick during their Twenty20 World Cup match against Sri Lanka at Kardinia Park in Geelong on Tuesday. AFP

Karthik Meiyappan of the United Arab Emirates took the first hat-trick of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia on Tuesday and only the fifth ever in the history of the tournament.

Asian champions Sri Lanka were motoring at 117-2 in the first-round clash at Geelong when the leg-break bowler struck in the 15th over, removing Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka and skipper Dasun Shanaka in successive balls.

Rajapaksa was caught in the deep, Asalanka caught behind and Shanaka clean-bowled.

“It’s a great feeling and it really hasn’t sunk in yet,” said the 22-year-old Meiyappan, who ended with figures of 3-19 off his four overs as Sri Lanka made 152-8.

“I was trying to take the ball away from the leftie (Rajapaksa), I was lucky that he sliced it to deep cover. Asalanka, it was easy for me to bowl a wrong’un, and he nicked it.

“But Shanaka, that was a special ball, to get it through bat and pad. That was the biggest one.”

Meiyappan became just the fifth bowler to snare a hat-trick at a T20 World Cup after Australia’s Brett Lee (2007), Irishman Curtis Campher, Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, who all achieved the feat in 2021.

After being put into bat, Sri Lanka made a strong start, reaching 42 before Kusal Mendis was trapped lbw by Aryan Lakra on 18.

Nissanka was joined by Dhananjaya de Silva and with the trumpets blowing from the Sri Lankan fans, they both crunched big sixes.

But their 50-run partnership came to an end with an amateurish runout. Nissanka drove the ball and De Silva set off, but his partner didn’t respond, leaving him stranded.

Nissanka brought up his eighth T20 half-century with a cover shot but then watched as Rajapaksa, Asalanka and Shanaka all fell to Meiyappan.

Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva was then snared by Aayan Afzal Khan four balls later as they lost four wickets for three runs.

Nissanka kept calm at the other end and began swinging his bat, before being dismissed in the final over.

Dushmantha Chameera quickly rattled UAE in their reply, clean bowling Muhammad Waseem and Aryan Lakra in the space of five balls.

The UAE had no answer to the pace attack, slumping to 21-4 in the sixth over and they never recovered as Sri Lanka ran riot.

Sri Lanka bowled out UAE for 73 for a convincing 79-run victory. Chameera ended with 3-15 but in worry for Sri Lanka hobbled off late in the game.

Agencies

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