A hat-trick – a bowler dismissing three batsmen in three successive deliveries – is a highly improbably event in the game of cricket. A (rather simplistic) analysis puts the probability of a bowler scoring an ODI hat trick at under 1/4500, or one in 4500 overs.
That is a highly improbable event, but the number of highly-improbable events that came true with Junaid Khan’s hat-trick on Friday, only the second hat-trick in the Pakistan Super League, was truly unbelievable.
The superb three-in-three by the Multan Sultan paceman in the third match of the PSL’s third edition not only mesmerized spectators, it also baffled the cricket statistician in all of us!
By left-arm seamers
The first hat-trick was taken by Mohammad Amir for Karachi Kings in the PSL first edition in 2016.
Amir, who was then 23 years old and had just returned to cricket after serving a five-year ban for spot-fixing, finished the match with figures of 3-27.
Do you think the third PSL hat-trick, if it happens this season, will also go to a left-arm paceman?
Junaid Khan’s hat-trick came during a league stage match, all which are taking place at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Amir also scored his hat-trick in a match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on February 5, 2016.
All matches of the first PSL edition took place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the second season, the Pakistan Cricket Board organised the final PSL match at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Three matches of the third edition of the PSL this year are scheduled to take place in Pakistan–two in Lahore and one in Karachi.
We are not very superstitious, but isn’t it incredible that both bowlers took their hat-tricks on Fridays? February 5, 2016 was also a Friday.
Against Lahore Qalandars in their first matches of the season
Another coincidence is that both hat-tricks were taken against Lahore Qalandars, but what is even more incredible is the fact that on both occasions, Lahore Qalandars were playing their first match of the season.
Under Malik’s captaincy
Although Shoaib Malik may not have had a significant role to play in Junaid’s hat-trick today, isn’t it weird that both hat-tricks took place with Malik as the captain of the bowler’s team?
Malik played as Karachi Kings skipper during the first two PSL seasons. But new-comers Multan Sultans – the sixth franchise of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) — signed up the star all-rounder as their team skipper.
Maybe they knew about his effect on fast-bowlers and their ability to pick up quick wickets?
Who do you think will take the next hat-trick in PSL? Will it be a left-armer? Will it be a fast-bowler? Will it happen this season?
Perhaps we should ask a proper statistician to do the math!