Jalaluddin (sans glasses). Photo courtesy: PakPassion
Jalaluddin (sans glasses). Photo courtesy: PakPassion

On September 20, 1982 at Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad, Jalaluddin (also referred to as Jalal-ud-Din) became the first bowler to take an ODI hat-trick. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at a feat by an unsung hero that will be remembered as long as limited-overs cricket will remain in human memory, and beyond.

The bespectacled (he was seldom seen without glasses, even while bowling) Jalaluddin was never express, but he could be nippy off the surface. Had he been given a proper run he would probably have been a lynchpin of the Pakistan attack, but unfortunately he never got the opportunities he deserved, especially in the shorter format.

Going into the ODI series against Australia, Jalaluddin had played a solitary ODI — against Sri Lanka at Karachi earlier that year. He had played alongside other young fast bowlers like Tahir Naqqash and Rashid Khan, and got to bowl 5 overs for 14. He had also removed Roy Dias, but did not get to play the rest of the series.

His chance eventually came when Imran Khan, who did not wish to put more strain on his already injured thigh, withdrew himself from the first ODI of the 1982-83 series. Zaheer Abbas led Pakistan in Imran’s absence, while Sikander Bakht and Naqqash shared the new ball.

Mohsin shines

The Australian pace attack, consisting of Jeff Thomson, Geoff Lawson, and Terry Alderman, was a strong one — but few attacks has been potent enough to keep an in-form Mohsin Khan under control. With Mudassar Nazar holding one end up, Mohsin launched himself into the Australians.

The openers reached 82 in 95 minutes before Alderman accounted for Mudassar. One might have thought it would bring down the run rate, but Zaheer scored a run-a-ball 26; Mohsin was third out, holing out to John Dyson off Lawson for a 101-ball 104 with 15 boundaries; Pakistan had reached only 169 when he fell.

The onus now fell on Javed Miandad, who stood firm as the middle-order fell around him trying to go for the big shots. He remained unbeaten on a 35-ball 31 as Pakistan reached 229 for 6 in the stipulated 40 overs.

The chase

Bruce Laird and Graeme Wood put up a dogged fight in response, adding 104 in 100 minutes. Australia seemed to be on track when Tauseef hit them with a triple-blow, removing both openers and Kim Hughes, the Australian captain. Allan Border and Dyson dug in, but the match slowly seemed to drift away from the tourists as the asking rate kept mounting.

Jalaluddin broke the resistance, possibly the last one Australia put up for the day. The pair had added 48 in 45 minutes before Jalaluddin found Border’s edge; Wasim Bari did the rest, and the downslide started.

Creating history

Jalaluddin had already bowled three balls of his seventh over. The fourth ran through Rodney Marsh’s defence. The fifth took Bruce Yardley’s edge and landed in Bari’s gloves. Geoff Lawson took guard. An eerie silence hung over Niaz Stadium as Jalaluddin ran in.

It happened. Lawson was clean bowled. The bespectacled Jalaluddin suddenly became a hero, etching his name in ODI history permanently. Despite its inception over a decade back, it was the first time a bowler had done the same in the shorter format — the version of sport that had not been looked down upon too well by the purists of the game.

Mopping up

With the match as good as rounded up, the tail batted for pride, just about managing to bat out 40 overs to finish on 170 for 9 with Dyson standing firm. With the match as good as decided, Zaheer decided to give his part-timers a bowl. As a result Mohsin picked up his only international wicket when he had Thomson caught by Zaheer himself.

What followed?

- Pakistan sealed the series after winning the next ODI at Lahore by 28 runs after Imran’s return. Zaheer scored 109 in 91 balls, Miandad contributed with an unbeaten 61, and Jalaluddin finally removed Wood and Dyson for the cost of 33. The third ODI at Karachi was abandoned after 12 overs after the crowd pelted stones at Lawson and Greg Ritchie.
- It took over three years for the next bowler (Bruce Reid) to take the next ODI hat-trick.
- Jalaluddin played a mere 6 Tests and 8 ODIs. His ODI numbers read 14 wickets at a staggering 15.07, but his career came to an astonishingly premature end. He later went on to become the first coach to receive both ECB and PCB accreditation.
- Jalaluddin’s ODI career remains the second-shortest among cricketers who had taken a hat-trick. The shortest remains that of Anthony Stuart, who had played 3 matches and had taken a hat-trick in his last ODI.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 229 for 6 in 40 overs (Mohsin Khan 104) beat Australia 170 for 9 in 40 overs (Graeme Wood 52, Bruce Laird 44; Jalaluddin 4 for 32, Tauseef Ahmed 3 for 38) by 59 runs.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Editorial Head and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)