Pathan has had a number of memorable moments with both ball and bat in international cricket. (Source: Youtube screenshot)
Irfan Pathan turns 33 on Friday. The veteran pacer, who is currently captain of Baroda in the Ranji Trophy, was regarded as one of the most prominent talents in the world at one point. In his prime, Pathan has had a number of memorable moments with both ball and bat in international cricket. While his rise and fall has been well-documented, on the occasion of his birthday, we take a look at the one moment that has gone on to becoming something of a defining moment in his career.
It was the third and final Test of the series between India and Pakistan in Karachi. The previous two matches were drawn. Pakistan were batting first and Pathan was given the new ball by captain Sourav Ganguly. Salman Butt was the man on strike. The first three were dot balls and then came the fourth. It swung away from the left hander and was nicked to Rahul Dravid at first slip. Younis Khan then came on and was treated to a vicious inswinger. He played the wrong line, the ball hit the pads and he was plumb. Ganguly then set an aggressive field for Mohammad Yousuf but it wasn’t required. Another inswinger had Yousuf bamboozled and the ball crashed on to the stumps. Irfan Pathan became only the second Indian bowler since Harbhajan Singh to get a Test hat-trick.
Despite that Pakistan fought back through Kamran Akmal in that innings and India were unable to surpass that total. Pakistan went on to score a mammoth 599/7 due to a century from Faisal Iqbal and valuable knocks from Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq. Razzaq and Mohammad Asif then ripped through the Indian batting order. India, despite the hat-trick and Yuvraj Singh’s century in the second innings, lost that match and thus the series.