As Irfan Pathan announces retirement, relive his historic first-over hat-trick against Pakistan
Irfan played an instrumental part in some of India’s greatest overseas triumphs and was a feared left-arm pacer during his heydays.Updated: Jan 05, 2020 08:26 IST
India all-rounder Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Saturday. During a show on Indian cricket’s official broadcaster, Irfan announced that he is hanging up his boots. Irfan played an instrumental part in some of India’s greatest overseas triumphs and was a feared left-arm pacer during his heydays. Irfan featured in 120 ODIs, 29 Tests and 24 T20Is for India in a career that spanned over 15 years. Irfan last played a match for India in 2012.
He was the man of the match in the 2007 T20 World Cup final where he propelled India to victory with 3 wickets against Pakistan. Irfan has always been a chief tormentor for India against Pakistan and is fondly remembered for his first-over hat-trick against them in 2006. As he announces his retirement let’s look back at one of Irfan’s greatest achievements in cricket.
India were touring Pakistan, captain Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to bowl first. Irfan Pathan had the new ball and Salman Butt was on strike.
Irfan ran in, landed the ball on a length and got it to seam away. Butt offered a meek bat as the ball kissed the outside edge and nestled perfectly in captain Rahul Dravid’s hands.
This brought in Younis Khan, Irfan had a good rhythm going and he sent down the perfect in-ducker. Younis played down the wrong line as the ball seamed past the bat and found the pads. He was bang in front of the stumps and had to take the long walk back.
Mohammad Yusuf took guard next and Irfan ran in and once again found the perfect line and length. The ball swirled back in and this time found space between bat and pads and smashed the stumps. Arms aloft, Irfan had sliced through the Pakistan top order.
However, despite this stellar effort, Pakistan fought back with great gusto from then on in to eventually beat India by a whopping 341 runs.