By Syed Khalid Mahmood
Normally I don’t like to comment during the course of a Test match but the spectacular feat of Peter Siddle on the opening day of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 25 has prompted me to do a piece without waiting for the game to finish.
Obviously it’s not the first-ever hat-trick to be achieved in a cricket field or in the international arena but it’s quite unique in more than one way. Siddle must have received numerous messages and greetings before the start of the Test match not only because he was returning to the national team after nearly a year but also because it was getting underway on his 26th birthday.
Siddle did not waste any time in returning the compliments. He celebrated the recall as well as the birthday with a hat-trick and career-best figures. He produced a couple of amazing spells to devastate the England batting line-up.
The magical moments came in his 12th over as he brought the crowd at the Gabba to life by dismissing Aliastar Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad on the third, fourth and fifth balls respectively to complete a magnificent hat-trick.
There was a little of drama and the celebrations had to be halted briefly as the Broad challenged the verdict of umpire Aleem Dar. The action replays confirmed that the on-field umpire had indeed made the correct decision.
"I don't want to be mean to parents and friends who have given me presents over all the years, but this is definitely going to be one of the best birthday presents that I'm ever going to get. It's an amazing feeling," Siddle added.