England batsmen will be shuddering in fear seeing Mitchell Starc’s ruthless form in the Sheffield Shield game with less than a fortnight to go for the 2017 Ashes. The 27-year-old bulldozed past the Western Australia’s batsmen with two hat-tricks in one first-class game at Hurstville Oval.
If there was any doubt about whether Mitchell Starc had recovered from his injury, they surely disappeared on Tuesday when the Australian pacer, playing for New South Wales (NSW), tore apart Western Australia claiming his second hattrick in the same game.
The left-arm paceman became the first player in 39 years and only the eighth player in the first-class history to take two hat-tricks in one match, as he went through Jason Behrendorff, David Moody, and Jonathan Wells one after another securing an unlikely 171-run victory for NSW in the Sheffield Shield.
Starc had Behrendorff caught behind, which was followed by a slinging yorker separating Moody’s stumps, with the last two balls of his 15th over. In the first ball of his next over, he had Wells caught in the slips by captain Steven Smith.
This incredible feat comes just one day after he had claimed a hat-trick in the first innings, where his prey included Behrendorff, Moody, and Simon Mackin. On Monday, too, he had started the mauling with Behrendorff by uprooting his stumps before trapping Moody for a leg before wicket, which was followed by another rocket that destroyed Mackin’s stumps.
Starc ended the game with magnificent figures of 97 for 7 and will surely be in contention of sharing the new ball with Josh Hazelwood when the Kangaroos take on England in Brisbane on November 23. This is also the first time since 1978 when Amin Lakhani managed to do the same for a Combined XI against the Indian tourists in a match at Multan.
This is also the first time that a bowler has taken two hat-tricks in a game in Australia. Two other Australians, James Matthews, and Albert