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On This Day - January 29, 2006: Irfan Pathan's Hat-Trick Rocks Pakistan In Karachi

On this day in 2006, India's young bowling sensation, Irfan Pathan rocked Pakistan with a hat-trick in Karachi. It was a sensational start to the third and final Test with Pathan dismissing Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf off the last three deliveries of the very first over of the match.

On This Day - January 29, 2006: Irfan Pathan's Hat-Trick Rocks Pakistan In Karachi

India were touring Pakistan in 2006. The first two Tests in Lahore and Faisalabad were drawn. India, led by Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to field first in the third and final Test in Karachi. Irfan Pathan, India's young bowling sensation, was given the new ball. Salman Butt was on strike. The first three deliveries were dot balls. And then it all happened!

The fourth delivery of the over swung away from the left-hander and was edged to Dravid at first slip. The Pakistan skipper, Younis Khan joined Imran Farhat at the crease. He was greeted by a big inswinger from Pathan. Younis played the wrong line and the ball hit the pads trapping him plumb leg before wicket. He exited for a golden duck. The home team were under pressure. Two wickets off two balls. The crowd was nervous. So were the Pakistani batsmen.

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The great Mohammad Yousuf was the next batsman to join Farhat at the crease. India set an aggressive field. Pathan produced another gem, another inswinger and the ball went through the defense of the Pakistani batsman crashing into his stumps. Another golden duck. Pathan had taken a hat-trick in the very first over of the match!

He became only the second Indian bowler to take a Test hat-trick after Harbhajan Singh (against Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2001). Since then only one other Indian bowler - Jasprit Bumrah - has taken a hat-trick in Test cricket.

Pakistan were reduced to 39 for 6 and were on their knees but a remarkable fightback led by Abdul Razzaq and centurion, Kamran Akmal got them out of the hole and they went on to post 245 in the first innings. Amazingly, they went on to register a massive 341-run victory in the Test and with it took the series 1-0.

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But the 29th of January, 2006, certainly the first half of it, belonged to the young sensation of India, Irfan Pathan as he left the whole of Pakistan stunned with his devastating opening spell and hat-trick.​

Pathan played 29 Tests for India and took 100 wickets at an average of 32.26 and strike rate of 58.8. He also scored 1105 runs at an average of 31.57 including a hundred and 6 fifties and was one of the most talented all-rounders to play for India.

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2 Australia 3028 116
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2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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