When a sport is played for more than four centuries, there are bound to be bizarre moments – be it a player representing two teams or a father-son duo taking the pitch together. Here at The Focus, we explore the weird and wonderful

Chris Tremlett’s hat-trick that never was

The Englishman made his ODI debut at Nottingham on June 21, 2005, against Bangladesh. The pacer had an incredible debut picking four wickets at a stunning economy rate of 3.84. England won the game by 168 runs (Cricinfo).

It could have been more iconic were it not for a cruelly denied hat-trick. During the ninth over, Tremlett managed to dismiss opener Shahriar Nafees and number three batsman Tushar Imran in consecutive deliveries. On the hat-trick ball to Mohammad Ashraful, the ball didn’t dislodge the bails even after hitting the stumps, robbing him of a hat-trick. (Cricinfo).

England v India: Specsavers 1st Test - Day Three
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 3: Ishant Sharma of India celebrates after dismissing Stuart Broad of England during the third day of the 1st Specsavers Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on August 3, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

Ishant Sharma’s butterfingers

The Indian pacer has dropped catches that have had serious consequences.

Third Test, Birmingham, India’s tour of England – Ishant Sharma dropped Alastair Cook. Cook went on to score a massive 294 and England won the game by an innings and 242 runs (Cricinfo).

Second Test, Sydney, India’s tour of Australia – Ishant Sharma dropped Michael Clarke. Clarke went on to score a stunning 329 and Australia won by an innings and 68 runs (Cricinfo).

Second Test, Wellington, India’s tour of New Zealand – Ishant Sharma dropped Brendon McCullum who scored a hefty 302. However, the Indian pacer got away with this as the match was drawn. (Cricinfo).

The lesson? Catches win matches.

The mother of all coincidences

The Aussies toured South Africa in 2011. In the first Test, the Proteas managed to bowl out the Kangaroos for 284. The heroics of Michael Clarke scoring 151 helped Australia reach a respectable total.

In retaliation, South Africa were bowled out for 96. Shane Watson picked up a fifer and Ryan Harris bagged four wickets for 33 runs.

Australia’s second innings was worse than the hosts’ batting, scoring only 47. Vernon Philander picked up a fifer. Additionally, Dale Steyn picked up a couple of wickets and Morne Morkel swept the remaining three.

It was Day 3 when the men in green were chasing a target of 236. The Proteas won comfortably with 8 wickets in hand with Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith scoring a century each (Cricinfo).

The freaky part of the match was that, exactly at 11 o’clock and 11 minutes, South Africa were batting one man down at 125. At 11:11, on 11/11/11, South Africa needed 111 runs for a win.

Australia v India - First Test: Day 1
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 26: Sachin Tendulkar of India waves to fans during day one of the First Test match between Australia and India at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Sachin Tendulkar played for Pakistan

Before ‘The God of Cricket’ made his debut for India in 1989, he played for Pakistan.

During the exhibition match between India and Pakistan, played on the occasion of golden jubilee for Cricket Club in India, Tendulkar took to the field for Pakistan as a substitute fielder.

It was January 20, 1987 when a 40 overs-a-side match was played before the five-Test series. The little master went in alongside Khushru Vasania when Imran Khan, the then Pakistan captain, said he was short of fielders.

Who would have imagined the then 13-year-old would go on to become the ‘King of the 22 yards’!

A debut at the age of 49

James Southerton made his debut when he was almost 50. Having played 286 first-class games, the English bowler had a full-fledged career with 1682 wickets (Cricinfo). A jaw-dropping number!

However, representing your team at the highest level has its own melodramatic feel to it. The then 49 years, 119 days old Southerton made his debut against Australia at Melbourne in 1877.

Bowling 37 overs in the first innings, he ripped through the middle order, picking up three wickets. Southerton also took the catch of tail-ender Tom Kendall. Impressive for a 49-year-old, right? Unfortunately, England lost the game by 45 runs (Cricinf).

His career came to an end with his second Test during the same series. On this occasion, he didn’t bowl in the first innings. During the second innings, he picked up four wickets for 46 runs. England won the game and Southerton’s ended his career on a high (Cricinfo).

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