Maharaj revels in rare hattrick


Reuters

KeshavMaharaj was too excited to come up with a celebration after becoming the first South African to claim a Test hattrick in 61 years as his side completed a 2-0 series sweep against West Indies with a 158-run victory in Saint Lucia on Monday.

The left-arm spinner picked up five wickets in West Indies' second innings but it was his hattrick that will live long in the memory, especially as it came when the hosts were beginning to believe they could reach their 324-run victory target.

They had recovered to 107 for three after a poor start when Maharaj (5-36) claimed the scalp of the dangerous Kieran Powell (51), who tried to launch him to the midwicket boundary but picked out lone fielder Anrich Nortje.

All-rounder Jason Holder was caught by short-leg Keegan Petersen first ball, and Wiaan Mulder took an excellent diving catch low to his right at leg-slip off Joshua Da Silva to complete the hattrick.

"Powell was looking to come at me and I just thought about putting the ball in the right area and it found Anrich on the boundary," Maharaj told reporters.

"The second one to Jason, I was trying to bowl a straight delivery and luckily it got an inside edge.

"The hattrick ball I had so many things going through my head as to where to put the ball. In the end I just bowled it normally and Joshua followed it down leg and full credit to Wiaan for a great catch.

"I didn't know what to do (to celebrate), I thought about doing a slide but ended up stopping dead in my tracks. There was too much excitement and adrenalin in me."