Hat-trick in Cricket World Cup: Breaking down the best World Cup hat-tricks

Is there a better moment for a bowler than taking a hat-trick in the Cricket World Cup? A hat-trick is a sensational moment in a cricket match at the best of times, and is certainly a sight to behold for any bowler who manages to achieve this rare feat. It is also a joy to watch for any spectators or viewers who shell out dollars worth of money to get a glimpse of their superstars battling it out. 

A hat-trick occurs in cricket when a bowler takes three wickets on consecutive deliveries, dismissing three different batsmen. It is a relatively rare event in One Day International (ODI) cricket with only 50 occurrences in 4546 matches. It is a rarity even in the shortest format of the game, with only 54 occurrences in 2313 matches as of October 2023.

Photo by Icon Sport

Remembered forever and etched into the history books, cricket enthusiasts have become witnesses to some scintillating World Cup hat-trick moments. Securing a hat-trick in Cricket World Cup matches is a dream for many bowlers and making this happen in a global showpiece event like the World Cup is like an ‘icing on the cake’. In the history of the ICC Men’s World Cup, there have been only 17 occasions that a bowler has achieved this feat across ODI and T20I formats. 

List of all hat-tricks in Cricket World Cups

Here we take a look at each of those memorable World Cup hat-trick moments that took place across all editions of the ODI and T20I World Cups.

1. Chetan Sharma (1987 vs New Zealand, ODI World Cup)

Former Indian fast bowler Chetan Sharma, will always be remembered as the man who took the first-ever hat-trick in Cricket World Cup history. Sharma bowled each of his victims with a trifecta of searing deliveries, the only time this has occurred in World Cup history. His scalps were Rutherford, Smith, and Chatfield, with Sharma clean bowling all three. His efforts meant the Black Caps were only able to score 221 runs, a total that India chased down with ease courtesy of a Sunil Gavaskar century.

2. Saqlain Mushtaq (1999 vs Zimbabwe, ODI World Cup)

Three World Cups and 12 years later, the next World Cup hat-trick came along. This time, it was from Pakistani spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. Faced with a total of 272, Zimbabwe had stuttered to a score of 123/7. That's when Saqlain struck, tearing through the final three wickets. First, the spinner nabbed Olonga with a stumping, before doing it all again the next ball to dispatch Huckle. Mushtaq then put the icing on the cake by catching Mbangwa plumb in front of the stumps, claiming the lbw and a completing his hat-trick.

3. Chaminda Vaas (2003 vs Zimbabwe, ODI World Cup)

This will go down as one of the most historic hat-tricks in Cricket World Cup history. Vaas was the man who secured this monumental World Cup hat-trick in the 2003 World Cup edition in the most dramatic of fashion. In the very first over of the match, with the first three balls even, Vaas claimed the first three wickets of Bangladesh. In doing so, he became the first bowler in history to pull off such a feat. Hahan Sarkar was the first to be dismissed followed by Mohammad Ashraful and Ehsanul Haque who nicked the hat-trick ball to Mahela Jayawardene.

4. Brett Lee (2003 vs Kenya, ODI World Cup)

In the very same World Cup, Australia's Brett Lee also bagged a hat-trick against Kenya. Kenya's opener was the first to fall, with the ball ricocheting off Kennedy Otieno's elbow into the stumps. Next was Brijal Patel, who edged through to Ricky Ponting in the slips. Sealing the hat-trick, Lee fired down the perfect yorker to which David Obuya was helpless against, ending up bowled.

5. Lasith Malinga (2007 vs South Africa, ODI World Cup)

Lasith Malinga holds the record of being the only bowler to claim two World Cup hat-tricks. His first came in 2007, against the Proteas. South Africa were cruising towards their target with five wickets in the bank. However, what Malinga produced next was nearly unthinkable. He grabbed four consecutive wickets in four balls dismissing Pollock, Hall, Kallis, and Ntnini but couldn’t prevent them from chasing their target.

6. Kemar Roach (2011 vs Holland, ODI World Cup)

Roach became the first player from the West Indies to take a hat-trick in Cricket World Cup history. He achieved this milestone against Netherlands in the 2011 edition. Pieter Seelaar fell first, caught lbw for one run. Next was Bernard Loots, who also was trapped in front. In glorious fashion, Roach completed his World Cup hat-trick by smashing Berend Westdijk's stump out of the ground, sending the crowd wild.

Hat-trick in Cricket World Cup

7. Lasith Malinga (2011 vs Kenya, ODI World Cup)

Not to be out done, the day after Roach claimed his World Cup hat-trick, Lasith Malinga stepped to the fore again and bagged another Cricket World Cup hat-trick. First, he caught Tanmay Mishra lbw. This was on the last ball of the over, so Malinga had to wait to continue his hat-trick. It was worth the wait, however, as in his next over, he produced two more stunning balls to catch Peter Ongondo and Shem Ngoche lbw as well, grabbing hiss second hat-trick in Cricket World Cups.

8. Steven Finn (2015 vs Australia, ODI World Cup)

Steven Finn became England's first bowler to claim a hat-trick in Cricket World Cup, courtesy of a final over spell against Australia in the 2015 WC edition. With three balls left in the Australian innings, Brad Haddin holed out to Stuart Broad. This was followed by some great hands from Joe Root at long-off to dismiss Glenn Maxwell the next ball. On hat-trick ball, Finn got it done by luring Mitchell Johnson into a shot that went right into the hands of mid-off on the final ball of the first innings. 

9. JP Duminy (2015 vs Sri Lanka, ODI World Cup)

Sitting at 114/4, Sri Lanka were in a reasonable position against South Africa in the 2015 ODI World Cup. That is, until JP Duminy struck. Angelo Matthew, Nuwan Kulasekara and Tharindu Kaushal all fell in consecutive balls, leaving Sri Lanka in tatters. With a catch at mid-wicket, and edge to the keeper and a brilliant lbw, Duminy wrote his name in history as the first South African to claim a hat-trick in Cricket World Cups. 

10. Mohammed Shami (2019 vs Afghanistan, ODI World Cup)

Afghanistan were on track to score an enormous underdog victory over India in 2019, until Mohammed Shami entered the fray. With a final over hat-trick, Shami ran through the Afghani tail and saw them fall 11 runs short of an historic win. Mohammed Shami's World Cup hat-trick included dismissals of Nabi, Aftab, and Mujeeb.

11. Trent Boult (2019 vs Australia, ODI World Cup)

The latest hat-trick in Cricket World Cup history came at the hands of New Zealand's Trent Boult. The feat came against the Black Caps great rivals Australia, who opted to bat first. Boult blasted his way through Khawaja, Starc and Behrendorff in the space of just three balls to conclude the Australian innings. Despite the hat-trick, New Zealand went on to lose the match. 

12. Brett Lee (2007 vs Bangladesh, T20 World Cup)

Lee was the first bowler to bag a T20I World Cup hat-trick. During the 14th match of the inaugural T20 tournament, Lee came into the attack in the 17th over against Bangladesh to dismiss Shakib, Mashrafe, and Alok. The whirlwind spell helped the Aussies clinch a comfortable victory over the Bangladesh Tigers.

13. Curtis Campher (2021 vs Holland, T20 World Cup)

Ireland's Curtis Campher grabbed the second T20 World Cup hat-trick. Campher delivered a match-winning spell in the 10th over, claiming four wickets in consecutive balls, dismissing Ackermann, ten Doeschate, Edwards, and van der Merwe to help Ireland bowl out the Netherlands out for 106 runs. 

hat-trick in ODI world cups

14. Wanindu Hasaranga (2021 vs South Africa, T20 World Cup)

Days after Camper's heroics, Hasaranga bagged yet another World Cup hat-trick, also in the 2021 T20 World Cup. After South Africa started well, Hasaranga entered for his second spell of bowling and shattered South Africa's momentum. First he claimed Aiden Markram's wicket in the last ball of his over. Then, in his next over, Hasaranga nabbed both Temba Bavuma and Dwaine Pretorius in back-to-back deliveries to complete the hat-trick.

15. Kagiso Rabada (2021 vs England, T20 World Cup)

Rabada recorded hat-trick number four in T20 World Cups. England were looking good in their chase of 190, until Rabada entered the picture in the last over. The big pacer got Woakes, Morgan and Jordan in consecutive balls, all while leaking only three runs to see his team across the line.

16. Karthik Meiyappan (2021 vs Sri Lanka, T20 World Cup)

Karthik Meiyappan was the first players from an associate nation to record a hat-trick in Cricket World Cups. Meiyappan executed this feat in the last three balls of his 15th over, netting Rajapaksa, Asalanka, and Shanaka in no time.

17. Joshua Little (2022 vs New Zealand, T20 World Cup)

Josh Little became Ireland's second cricketer to claim a World Cup hat-trick in the T20I format, dismissing New Zealand's Williamson, Neesham, and Santner in the 2022 T20 World Cup. His figures of 3/22 was a silver lining for the Irishmen who suffered a tough defeat by a margin of 35 runs. 

Has there been a hat-trick at the 2023 Cricket World Cup?

After a fortnight of matches, there have not been any hat-tricks at the 2023 Cricket World Cup yet. 

Several bowlers have threatened, with New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner taking 5/59 against the Netherlands in their meeting recently. Santner, along with Jasprit Bumrah and Matt Henry have all taken eight wickets so far this tournament, and look the most likely to take a hat-trick at the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

Bren GrayBren Gray

Bren is our resident Kiwi, and has been playing or watching sports down under in New Zealand for the better part of three decades. With 12+ years' experience as a professional writer, Bren loves to dive deep into all things cricket to bring the best betting analysis, predictions and news here at CricNerds.com.