Scoring a century and taking a hattrick are two milestones that only a handful of cricketers had achieved on the cricket field.
There are several players like Misbah-ul-Haq and Graham Thorpe who scored a bulk of runs in international cricket but could not score a century in ODIs. Similarly, there are a huge number of bowlers who could not take three wickets in as many balls.
Well, Joe Denly, on Saturday, achieved both the records in the same game, as Kent Spitfires beat Surrey by six runs in their Vitality Blast opener at the Kia Oval.
Denly smashed 102 from 63 balls, helping the Spitfires to 173-6 after winning the toss and opting to bat first.
In reply, Surrey were well on course for a successful chase. They were comfortably placed at 135 for three in the 13th over with Ben Foakes (75no) going well. It was then Denly tormented Surrey’s middle-order with his leg-spin.
Rikki Clarke was stumped coming down the track, Jamie Smith lbw and Matt Pillans caught by wicketkeeper Sam Billings off a top-edge into the leg side, as Surrey were eventually bowled out for 167 in the penultimate over.
Joe Denly ! A century and a hat trick in T20Blast win over Surrey !!
— David 'Bumble' Lloyd (@BumbleCricket) July 6, 2018
“The Oval is always a decent place to bat. But the outfield was slower than normal. And Surrey made scoring boundaries tough by mixing up their pace a bit,” Denly said after the game.
“I thought at halfway we were 10-15 runs short and that it might take a special bowling performance to win it – although I didn’t expect it would be me!
“I may have taken a hat-trick in the garden before but not out in the middle and if I’m honest it was a naughty hat-trick ball, caught down the leg side, but I’ll take it because it got us back in the game,” he added.
As far as the records are concerned, Denly became the first player in List A 50-over or T20 cricket to score a hundred and take a hattrick in the same match.
There were three previous instances of 50 and a hattrick in T20, and seven in List A.