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On this day in 2008: Lakshmipathy Balaji becomes first bowler to clinch IPL hat-trick – Firstcricket News, Firstpost


On May 10, 2008, former India and Chennai Super Kings’ fast bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji scripted history by becoming the first player to grab a hat-trick in the Indian Premier League against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), now called Punjab Kings (PBKS), at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Put into bat first, CSK suffered initial hiccup as they lost their openers cheaply. Suresh Raina and S Badrinath then joined hands and brought some momentum back to the innings. While Badrinath top-scored with 64, skipper MS Dhoni propelled them to 181/4 towards the end of innings, having racked up an unbeaten 60 off 43 balls.

In reply, Shaun Marsh got KXIP off to a flier but CSK bowlers made early inroads from the other end. 

Ramnaresh Sarwan added 66 runs with Marsh before Bajaji dismissed him in the 13th over. In the same over Balaji scalped Marsh, who scored 58 off 38 balls. 

Having already snapped up a couple of wickets earlier, Dhoni turned to Balaji for the final over of the match. Punjab needed 27 runs to win off the last six deliveries with four wickets in hand. 

Reposing faith in his captain, Balaji first removed Irfan Pathan who smashed the ball straight down the throat of Raina. In the very next ball, Piyush Chawla also perished in a quest to up the ante. Balaji didn’t stop there and induced edge from VRV Singh’s bat into wicket-keeper Dhoni’s hands behind the stumps, thereby claiming the first hat-trick in the inaugural IPL. With this, Balaji also finished with the figures of 5/24.

Although Irfan Pathan scored a 18-ball 40, Punjab fell short by 18 runs and lost the encounter.

Balaji was adjudged the Player of the Match and he finished the tournament with 11 wickets from nine games at an average of 26.00.

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