Logan van Beek and Matt McEwans    Getty Images
Logan van Beek and Matt McEwans Getty Images

On Friday a very rare feat was achieved by two childhood friends in separate Plunket Shield matches in New Zealand. While Wellington Firebird’s Logan van Beek claimed the first hat-trick in the fast-moving game at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval, Auckland Aces paceman Matt McEwan had also claimed his maiden First-Class hat-trick at Auckland’s Eden Park Outer Oval. The Firebirds won the four-day match by 10 wickets inside two days. Van Beek’s was the 40th and McEwan’s the 41st hat-trick in New Zealand’s First-Class history.

Both the players have also visited India previously. They have played club matches in Delhi, Mumbai, Dharamsala, Chandigarh and Bangalore. After claiming the hat-trick, both the players narrated the history behind their friendship and expressed happiness over each other’s success.

Van Beek found the rare feat a ‘freakish’ moment in cricket: “It is a great feeling to be part of history in the Plunket Shield. More happy that I made a contribution to winning the match. I was amazed, it is very rare to get a hat-trick but for two to happen at the same time is freakish! I sent a message congratulating Matthew McEwan on achieving the hat-trick as well. Matthew and I are childhood friends. We went to the same school, and played in the same cricket team for almost 15 years. I used to wicket-keep to Matthew’s bowling. I was a wicket-keeper till I was 18, then changed to fast bowling. We are good friends.”

McEwan said it was a day to cherish forever for him and his friend: “It is an amazing feeling. Congratulatory messages have been pouring in. It was a very special day for both of us. It will be remembered for ever in our lives. We talked after the match and congratulated each other.”