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On This Day in 1987: Chetan Sharma Registers First-ever Cricket World Cup Hat-trick; Watch Video

On this day, 34 years ago, Chetan Sharma added a glorious chapter in the history of the World Cup and his career by taking the first-ever hat-trick in the 1987 WC. The right-arm fast bowler achieved the feat during India’s last Group stage match against New Zealand in Nagpur on October 31, 1987. Interestingly, it was also the first-ever hat-trick by an Indian bowler on the world stage in any format.

Batting first, Jeff Crowe-led New Zealand team’s start was decent as they scored 182 runs for the loss of five wickets in 41 overs and were hoping to post a 240-plus total. The Kiwi squad seemed to have an upper hand in the match at this moment as Ken Rutherford entrenched himself at the crease. However, in the very next over of the match, Chetan bowled one of the most memorable overs of his career to reduce New Zealand from 182/5 to 182/8

It was Chetan’s sixth over of the match and he had failed to impress anyone with his performance so far. However, he was known for bowling a few extraordinary balls here and there. But, no one could have foreseen what happened next in the match.

After bowling three dot balls, Chetan bowled an in-cutter to Rutherford. The Kiwi cricketer failed to defend himself against the ball and it soon crashed into his stumps, forcing him to walk back to the stands. On his next ball, Sharma removed Ian Smith with an identical delivery. There was a brief discussion between Chetan and captain Kapil Dev when Ewen was preparing to face the last ball of the over.

Chetan bowled the last ball a bit fuller but the result was similar to the last two balls as it crashed through Ewen Chatfield’s stumps, and in the process the Indian seamer etched his name in the history of the game.

New Zealand were eventually restricted to 221 runs for the loss of nine wickets. In reply, India won the match by nine wickets in 32.1 overs, with Sunil Gavaskar getting Man of the Match award for his winning ton.

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