After losing the first Test of Frank-Worrell Trophy 1988-89 at Brisbane, West Indies moved to Perth for the second match against Australia. Winning the toss, Australia asked West Indies to bat first, which seemed to be a good decision after they got few early wickets but later started struggling. It was Geoff Lawson who broke the partnership of 163 runs between Richie Richardson and Viv Richards, Geoff Lawson broke the partnership by getting rid of Richardson out. But it was not done yet, as another partnership started building between Richards and Gus Logie, which was eventually broken Tim May.

From there on, Australian giant bowler Merv Hughes took the charge and sent Malcolm Marshal to pavilion. Further, he then took two wickets from back-to-back deliveries bowled by him. The wickets were of Curtly Ambrose and Patrick Patterson but both came in different overs. He dismissed Ambrose in the last ball of his 36th over and then Patterson in the first ball of his 37th over.

Hughes was not aware at that moment that he will be on hat-trick when he will resume bowling in the second innings. After a wait of more than a day, when West Indies began their second innings on the third day of the match with a lead of 54 runs, Hughes was given the ball to start the innings. On his very first delivery, Hughes scalped the wicket of opener Gordon Greenidge. He was caught plumb in front. That was his hat-trick and the most unusual one.

Earlier, Courtney Walsh took the first split-innings hat-trick in the first Test of the series and in the second match Hughes came up with more complicated one which took three different over. Hughes took total of 13 wickets for 217 runs in that match and was also awarded the Man of the Match award, though Australia lost the match by 169 runs but this effort made the match memorable.