KATHMANDU: Spinner Shakti Gauchan became the first Nepali bowler to take a hat-trick in international cricket while giving Nepal a thumping nine-wicket victory over Denmark in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Dubai today.
The hat-trick came in the 13th over when Denmark were 58-3. Shakti had Rizwan Mahmood as his first victim on the second ball when the batsman top edged a short ball to skipper Paras Khadka at covers. He bowled new-man Aftab Ahmed the next ball and completed the historic hat-trick trapping Kamran Mahmood leg before to reduce Denmark to 60-6. Denmark innings ultimately folded at 82 in 19.1 overs.
It was the first hat-trick for Nepal in men’s cricket at any level or format of the game. Shakti was recalled in the Twenty20 team after being left out for two international tournaments — 16th South Asian Games cricket in Guangzhou in 2010 and ACC Twenty20 Cup in Nepal in December last year. “We want to participate in the World Cup, and hopefully we can do well in the rest of the tournament,” said Shakti.
Nepali cricket, so far, has seen two international hat-tricks, both from women. Rubina Chhetri was the first to take an international hat-trick during ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship match against Singapore in Malaysia in 2009 before Karuna Bhandari emulated her last year against Thailand in 2011.