Ashton Agar joins Brett Lee in elite list after hat-trick against South Africa
South Africa vs Australia: Agar achieved the feat in the 8th over of South Africa’s innings when he dismissed former Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dale Steyn in back-to-back deliveries.Updated: Feb 22, 2020, 00:38 IST
Australia spinner Ashton Agar achieved a huge milestone on Friday night when he picked up a hat-trick in the first T20I against South Africa in Johannesburg. The left-arm spinner achieved the feat in the 8th over of South Africa’s innings when he dismissed former Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dale Steyn in back-to-back deliveries.
While du Plessis was caught by Kane Richardson in the deep, Phehlukwayo was trapped LBW and Steyn edged one to Aussie skipper Aaron Finch at slips. Agar becomes the 2nd Australian to claim a hat-trick in the shortest format, only after Brett Lee, who picked up a hat-trick against Bangladesh in the inaugural T20I World Cup in 2007.
Agar almost achieved the historic feat of picking up two hat-tricks in the same match when he picked up dismissed Pite van Biljon and Lungi Ngidi in two consecutive delivieres later on in the match. Tabraiz Shamsi was beaten by a straighter one, but it missed his pads and the stumps by a whisker. Agar finished with figures of 5/24 in his 4 overs as South Africa were bundled out for 89, and Australia picked up a 107-run win.
Steve Smith, back in South Africa for the first time since the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, put on 80 runs for the second wicket with Aaron Finch to provide the foundation for Australia’s 196 for six in the first Twenty20 international at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday. Australia captain Finch hit powerfully to make 42 off 27 balls and Smith scored 45 off 32 deliveries after Australia lost David Warner to the second ball of the match, caught at fine leg off Dale Steyn.
The pair put on 80 off 52 balls before Finch was caught in the deep off left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. Friday’s game is the first in South Africa for Smith and Warner since March 2018 when they were banned for ball-tampering in the third Test in Cape Town. Smith was Australia captain and Warner his deputy at the time.
Australia, who were sent in, lost wickets at regular intervals on Friday but managed to maintain a rapid scoring rate against a South African bowling attack which conceded 12 wides and struggled to maintain a consistent line and length. Veteran fast bowler Steyn and Shamsi were South Africa’s best bowlers, both taking two for 31 in four overs.
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was erratic on his return to action after being rested for the recent one-day and T20 series against England. He conceded 45 runs in three overs.
(With AFP inputs)