'It still hasn't sunk in' - Karthik Meiyappan relives his historic T20 World Cup hat-trick

'It really is a proud moment, amazing,' said Karthik Meiyappan.

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Karthik Meiyappan
Karthik Meiyappan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Karthik Meiyappan, a Chennai-born spinner who began honing his cricket skills in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in his early adolescence, delivered a moment to remember on Tuesday in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022. Meiyappan picked up a hat-trick while bowling against Sri Lanka in the sixth match of the tournament as he stormed through the middle order in a magical spell.

With this feat, Meiyappan became just the fifth bowler in the history of the T20 World Cup to bag a hat-trick. Before him, only Australia’s Brett Lee, South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, Ireland’s Curtis Campher, and Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga have reached the height. Meiyappan dismissed Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka and the Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka to complete his hat-trick.

Sri Lanka’s target of 153 looked like a little too much for UAE to chase, and they were dished out for 73 runs as Meiyappan’s hat-trick went in vain. UAE was handed their second defeat of the tournament, which put curtains on their campaign and the upcoming fixture against Namibia will be a dead rubber. But Meiyappan was happy with his achievement.

“It still hasn't sunk in, the fact I got a hat-trick in a T20 World Cup and the first (UAE) bowler to do so. It really is a proud moment, amazing. But it would have been much sweeter, much better if we had won the game tonight. Obviously making the team to be in the World Cup was an achievement in itself, but the main goal was to play the Super 12s. As of now I think, going forward for us, it would be the 2023 World Cup in India. That's what we'll be prepping up for,” he told the media after the game.

Meiyappan also opened up about his feeling post the game and talked about every wicket that he took to complete the hat-trick.

“First up against Rajapaksa, I think the length side was a long boundary for him. I thought he would try to take me down over there because I think he was five-from-five, something like that. I started to push it and he tried but he sliced it, straight to Kashif on the boundary. That was the first one. And then Asalanka walked in. That was a no-brainer for me. I was going to bowl around and straight up. Vriitya took an amazing catch.,” he told the media about the first two wickets.

Meiyappan delivered three googlies in a row to pick up three crucial wickets. His hat-trick landed his team in a comfortable position at that moment in the game. Of the three wickets, Dasun Shanaka’s dismissal was the highlight, as the batter was left astonished on the field when the ball rattled through the stumps.

“When Dasun walked in, I was going through my emotions of being on a hat-trick, but all I wanted to do was bowl at the stumps. And whatever happens after that, it is not in my hands. But again I just bowled around him and I think he picked it (wrong), tried to go over cover. But yeah. I was clear with my plans before the hat-trick ball. And no one came in. But we always have a chat when we bowl, me and the wicket-keeper. We are from the same city, which is why we talked in our language, Tamil. We had a conversation before that and I just delivered what I wanted to,” he added.

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