Alfonso Thomas took four wickets in four balls against Sussex for Somerset © Getty Images
Alfonso Thomas took four wickets in four balls against Sussex for Somerset © Getty Images

 

By Devarchit Varma

 

Jun 11, 2014

 

Somerset and South Africa seamer Alfonso Thomas created history on Tuesday when he claimed four wickets in as many balls during the third day’s play in their County Championship match against Sussex at Taunton. Thomas’s strikes left Sussex reeling in their match as they lost as many as five wickets within a span of 10 deliveries without a run being scored.

 

Thomas first claimed the wicket of James Anyon, cleaning him up for 18 off 50 balls. Then on the next delivery — the fifth of the 17th over — he got Rory Hamilton-Brown trapped in front of the wickets off the very first ball that the batman faced.

 

The right-arm pacer completed his hat-trick when on the last ball of the over was the experienced campaigner Ed Joyce was caught behind the wickets by Craig Kieswetter for a duck. Thomas returned to bowl his next over and cleaned up Matt Machan for another duck in the innings, off seven balls, thus achieving the feat.

 

New Zealand’s left-arm pacer Neil Wagner was the last bowler to achieve the feat in First-Class cricket in the 2010-11 season, while playing for Otago against Wellington at Queenstown. In County cricket, this feat was last seen in the year 2000, when Gary Butcher snared four wickets in four balls for Surrey against Derbyshire.

 

Below is a list showing all the bowlers who have taken four wickets in four balls in First-Class cricket:

 

Bowler For Against Venue Season Notes
J Wells Kent Sussex Brighton 1862
G Ulyett Lord Harris’ XI New South Wales Sydney 1878-79
G Nash Lancashire Somerset Manchester 1882
JB Hide Sussex MCC Lord’s 1890
FJ Shacklock Nottinghamshire Somerset Nottingham 1893
AD Downes Otago Auckland Dunedin 1893-94
F Martin MCC Derbyshire Lord’s 1895
AW Mold Lancashire Nottinghamshire Nottingham 1895
W Brearley Lancashire Somerset Manchester 1905 Spread over two innings
S Haigh MCC Army XI Pretoria 1905-06
AE Trott Middlesex Somerset Lord’s 1907 Took another hat-trick in the Test
FA Tarrant Middlesex Gloucestershire Bristol 1907
A Drake Yorkshire Derbyshire Chesterfield 1914
SG Smith  Northamptonshire Warwickshire Birmingham 1914
HA Peach Surrey Sussex The Oval 1924
AF Borland Natal Griqualand West Kimberley 1926-27
JEH Hooker New South Wales Victoria Sydney 1928-29 Spread over two innings
RK Tyldesley Lancashire Derbyshire Derby 1929 Spread over two innings
RJ Crisp  Western Province Griqualand West Johannesburg 1931-32
RJ Crisp Western Province Natal Durban 1933-34
AR Gover  Surrey Worcestershire Worcester 1935
WH Copson Derbyshire Warwickshire Derby 1937
WA Henderson  NE Transvaal Orange Free State Bloemfontein 1937-38
F Ridgway Kent Derbyshire Folkestone 1951
AK Walker Nottinghamshire Leicestershire Leicester 1956 Spread over two innings
SN Mohol President’s XI Combined XI Pune  1965-66
D Robins South Australia New South Wales Adelaide 1965-66
PI Pocock Surrey Sussex Eastbourne 1972 Took seven wickets in 11 balls
SS Sain  Delhi Himachal Pradesh New Delhi 1988-89 Spread over two innings
D Dais  W Province (Suburbs) Central Province Colombo  1990-91
Ali Gauhar  Karachi Blues United Bank Peshawar 1994-95
KD James Hampshire Indians Southampton 1996 Also scored a hundred
GP Butcher Surrey Derbyshire The Oval 2000
Fazl-e-Akbar PIA Habib Bank Lahore 2001-02
CM Willoughby Cape Cobras Dolphins Durban 2005-06
Tabish Khan Karachi Whites Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited Karachi (UBL) 2009-10
N Wagner Otago Wellington Queenstown 2010-11
AC Thomas Somerset Sussex Taunton 2014