Apart from sixes and fours, there is nothing more exciting than watching a wicket fall in a cricket match and when three such denouements come in the space of three balls, it's all the more mesmerising to the spectator and fan. What better stage to witness such a phenomenon than at the World Cup. Hat-tricks have been taken a total of seven times in the big event and here is Oneindia's account of them...
India's Chetan Sharma took the first World Cup hat-trick, against New Zealand in Nagpur in the 1987 World Cup. The pacer bowled Ken Rutherford, Ian Smith and Ewen Chatfield late in the innings, dislodging their middle stump, off-stump and leg-stump, respectively.
Pakistan's crafty off-break Saqlain Mushtaq took his second and last ODI hat-trick, the previous one also being against Zimbabwe. In the 1999 World Cup game at the Oval, Saqlain had Henry Olonga and Adam Huckle stumped before trapping Pommie Mbangwa LBW.
Lankan Chaminda Vaas's hat-trick against Bangladesh in the 2003 World Cup is unique since he did it with the first three deliveries of the match. In the Pietermaritzburg Oval, he removed Hannan Sarkar by bowling by an in-swinger, Mohammad Ashraful through a caughgt and bowled and had Ehsanul Haque caught at slip. In the fourth ball of same over, Sanwar Hossain scooped a four over cover, and in fifth ball, fell LBW. The score after the first over was five runs for four wickets. Vaas finished with 6-25 and Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets.
One day following Vaas' hat-trick, Australia's Brett Lee rocked Kenya with a hat-trick in the fourth over of their match in Durban. Kennedy Otieno played on with a painful deflection off his left elbow, Brijal Patel edged a straight ball to slip and Kennedy's brother David couldn't dig out a ferociously fast yorker.
Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga four-in-four is one of international cricket's greatest achievements. In a 2007 World Cup game, South Africa had five wickets left and needed 4 runs from 32 balls when Shaun Pollock lost his leg-stump to a slow yorker. Andrew Hall then mistimed another slow ball to cover. Next over, Jacques Kallis was caught behind for the hat-trick. Makhaya Ntini was bowled by a screaming in-swinging yorker to make it four-in-four. The fifth ball whizzed a millimetre past the off-stump of last-man Charl Langeveldt. SA survived the ordeal for a one-wicket win.
Kemar Roach of the West Indies took the sixth World Cup hat-trick in New Delhi. Three vicious in-swingers took care of Pieter Seelar (LBW), Bernard Loots (LBW) and Berend Westdijk (bowled).
Malinga became the first bowler to take two World Cup hat-tricks. His second was against Kenya at the Premadasa Stadium. Three fast, in-swinging, dipping yorkers took care of Tanmay Mishra (LBW), Peter Ongondo and Shem Ngoche (both bowled). A five-wide and a dot later, Elijah Otieno perished to another yorker, making it four wickets in five legit balls.