Ireland’s Curtis Campher became only the third player in history to take four wickets in four balls during a Twenty20 international to help his team to a seven-wicket World Cup stroll against the Netherlands.
Campher’s achievement puts him on a list of three, with Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga the only other bowlers to have achieved the feat.
The player revealed he did not think his bowling was going that well before the wickets started to tumble. “To be honest I wasn’t feeling great out there with the ball and then a couple of guys have just said ‘crack it down the wicket here’ and thankfully I was able to do that,” he told Sky Sports.
The wickets all fell in a single over as the Netherlands fell from 51 for two to 51 for six, and included county cricketers Ryan ten Doeschate and Roelof van der Merwe. The first wicket had to be reviewed by captain Andy Balbirnie for a possible caught behind after initially being signalled wide, with UltraEdge confirming the ball had nicked Colin Ackermann’s bat on the way through to wicketkeeper Neil Rock.
Ten Doeschate’s poor run of form extended into the tournament as he became the second wicket, trapped lbw first ball. The hat-trick ball – the wicket of Scott Edwards – also had to be reviewed after given not out by on-field umpire Rod Tucker, the eventual lbw verdict giving Campher the highly-coveted three from three.
Van der Merwe then followed the next ball, dragging one on to his stumps to complete four in four for the 22-year-old Johannesburg-born seamer.
Campher finished with four for 26 as the Dutch were bowled out for 106, opener Max O’Dowd providing the only resistance of note with 51.
Chasing down the meagre target, Gareth Delany top-scored with 44 from 29 balls in an innings which was seen through from start to finish by Paul Stirling, who finished with an unbeaten 30. Ireland suffered a brief wobble when Kevin O’Brien and Balbirnie were dismissed cheaply but Campher saw them over the line with 29 balls to spare.