Aug 7 (Reuters) – Nathan Ellis admitted he was fortunate to be a member of Australia’s touring squad in Bangladesh after becoming the first male player to secure a Twenty20 hat-trick on his debut on Friday.
Ellis claimed three wickets with the final three balls of Bangladesh’s innings in Dhaka to set the Australians a target of 128 runs to win the third match in the five-game series.
But while the tourists fell short of their first victory in the series by 10 runs, the match still featured a world first for the 26-year-old.
“It was a surreal moment,” Ellis said of his feat, which had only previously been achieved in the women’s game by Nepal’s Anjali Chand.
“To come out of the other end of it with a hat-trick – it’s not something I planned to happen or thought about happening but pretty amazing and it’s something I will cherish forever. This whole tour has been a bit of a surreal experience for me.
“I’m under no illusions to the fact it’s taken a global pandemic and some boys spending a lot of time in quarantine and bubbles to need a break for me to get here.”
Australia have sent a weakened side on tour to the West Indies and Bangladesh, with the likes of David Warner and Steve Smith not travelling while captain Aaron Finch returned home due to injury from the Caribbean.
Ellis had struggled for much of his four-over spell, conceding 34 runs before making his mark on history to close out the Bangladesh innings.
Captain Mahmudullah saw his off-stump clattered by Ellis before Mustafizur Rahman was caught in the outfield by Mitchell Marsh. The hat-trick was completed when Mahedi Hasan pulled his attempt into the hands of Ashton Agar at deep square leg.
“It’s my first time bowling on a sub-continental wicket so I’m learning on the run a little bit, just finding what works for me and then setting my fields accordingly and trying to get them to hit to the fielders,” said Ellis.
“So for me it was pretty simple, bowl to my field and hope it goes my way and thankfully it did.”
Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore
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