In the annals of international cricket history, there are few achievements as exhilarating and rare as a hat-trick. And on December 5th, 1988, Australia’s Merv Hughes etched his name in the record books by securing a hat-trick against the formidable West Indies during the Perth Test.

After the West Indies took a 1-0 lead in the five-match Test series, Australia was determined to bounce back. The visitors amassed a commanding first-innings total of 449, led by their skipper, Sir Viv Richards, who blazed a scintillating 146 runs off just 150 deliveries, including a breathtaking 102 runs through boundaries.

However, it was Merv Hughes who stole the show in the latter stages of the innings. With relentless bowling, he claimed a remarkable five-wicket haul, dismantling the West Indies’ batting order and causing them to lose their last five wickets for a mere 28 runs. His spell culminated in a dramatic climax as he dismissed Sir Curtly Ambrose on the final ball of the 122nd over and Patrick Patterson on the first delivery of the 124th over, wrapping up the innings.

WATCH: When Merv Hughes made it remarkable in 1988

Australia, seeking to make amends, declared their first innings at 395/8, allowing them an opportunity to take on the West Indies’ openers before stumps on the third day. It was during this momentous chase that Hughes exhibited his prowess yet again.

Armed with the new ball, he faced Gordon Greenidge, the West Indies opener, and dismissed him on the very first ball of the innings. In doing so, Hughes secured a hat-trick that spanned three different overs, a truly extraordinary achievement.

Despite Hughes’ heroics, the West Indies managed to set a challenging target of 404 runs for Australia to win. However, their chase faltered as they were bundled out for a mere 234 runs, succumbing to a 169-run defeat.

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Merv Hughes’ incredible hat-trick and eight-wicket haul showcased his ability to rise to the occasion against one of the most dominant cricketing teams of that era. His feat will forever be remembered as a testament to his skill, determination, and the enduring allure of the hat-trick in the world of cricket.


By Ritik Sharma

A common man who is doing calm se kaam, a failed cricketer, still in love with it. Establishing my journey into Journalism & if you love my articles then share it with your dear ones Instagram - @ritiksharma45