Four wickets in four balls, known as a double hat-trick, from Alfonso Thomas secured a Somerset victory over Sussex. The 37-year-old South African sprung into life in the sixth over of the day to sway a tight contest and become the first Somerset bowler to achieve a double hat-trick.
Sussex lost five wickets in 10 deliveries without scoring a run as the wheels came off their challenge in the match.
James Anyon, the left-handed night-watchman was bowled off the inside edge, Rory Hamilton-Brown was lbw to a full delivery and the hat-trick ball saw Ed Joyce caught behind. That saw the end of Thomas’ over.
In the next over of the Sussex innings Peter Trego took the wicket of Chris Nash before Thomas returned to bowl Matt Machan with the first delivery of his next six.
- Thomas is the first man to claim four wickets in four balls in English first-class cricket since 2000
- He is the first man to achieve the feat in world first-class cricket since 2011
- He becomes the first man to take a double hat-trick at Taunton
Thomas ended with figures of five for 40 in his 20 overs to add to a first innings three for 67 and a crucial 38 with the bat.
Four wickets in four balls is known as a double hat-trick as wickets one to three are the first hat-trick and wickets two to four the second.
“That was the first hat-trick of my professional career and has to be right up with the highlights,” Thomas later told ESPN CricInfo.. “But yes, the turning point of my career came when a man called Brian Rose showed belief in me. I love Somerset.”
The victory lifts Somerset to the top of the LV= County Championship table. Their last game of the season, against fellow Championship front-runners Yorkshire, is becoming more mouthwatering by the day.
Yorkshire, meanwhile, were held to a draw by Nottinghamshire as most of the second day at Headingley was lost to the weather.
The visitors could make only 205 after opting to bat as Tim Bresnan and Jack Brooks picked up three wickets apiece. Yorkshire opener Adam Lyth was then brought back down to earth following his epic double-hundred in the win against Northamptonshire as he succumbed to the second ball bowled by Australian Peter Siddle. Siddle ended with four for 65 as the hosts earnt a slender lead in making 247.
Any hopes the home side had of forcing a win after reducing Notts to 30 for two in their second innings were soon scotched as James Taylor and Michael Lumb added 95. Taylor went on to fall four short of his 18th first-class century, while Chris Read (75) and Siddle (48 not out) added some impetus before the declaration came at 335 for eight. Yorkshire finished on 53 for three in pursuit of their hypothetical target of 294.
Warwickshire were unable to give their title challenge a much-needed boost as Lancashire lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with a draw at Edgbaston. Fifties from Alex Davies and Tom Smith helped the visitors up to 286 after they had chosen to bat. Warwickshire then went past that total thanks to half-centuries from William Porterfield, Tri Ambrose and Rikki Clarke.
An unbeaten 104 from Steven Croft then allowed Lancashire to declare their second innings at 322 for seven as so leave the Bears a target of 287. They struggled after a promising start and had limped to 86 for five by the time stumps were pulled. Croft made it a fine final day in England’s second city by taking three for 25.