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Sunday, 18 October 2009





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Aussie Jimmy Mathews - a double 'hat-trick' in one day against South Africa

Jimmy Matthews - a double

CRICKET: Getting wickets in Tests is an unending joy for the bowlers. Then getting a double hat-trick in one Test calls for celebration from the side that produced the champion bowler. Both feats come on the same day. So, it was for Australia's T. Jimmy Mathews in the 1912 Triangular Tournament also involving England and South Africa.

Mathews earned everlasting fame at Old Trafford by getting a hat-trick twice in one match for Australia against South Africa. His feat is unparalled in Test cricket and it occurred in the first match of the competition.

Mathews with his slow right-arm bowling, dismissed the last three batsmen in South Africa's first innings, and in the follow-on, when five wickets were down for 70, he repeated the feat of dismissing three men with successive balls. That was the extent of his effectiveness in that encounter, and the series of six matches, which all three countries contested, brought him no more than 15 wickets altogether, but his average of 17 was less than that for the 25 taken by W. J. Whitty and for the 19 by R. Hazlitt.

During the whole of that tour in England, Mathews' bowling earned him 85 wickets at 19.37 each, while he scored 584 runs, average 18.25.

He had only made his Test debut the previous winter doing enough in the last three Tests against England to win selection for the tour.

A wet summer certainly did not help the team, captained by S. E. Gregory, and far from representing the full strength of Australia, but Mathews played up to his reputation as a very useful all-round cricketer.

England easily won the three-cornered rubber with four victories and two draws.

The Victorian handbook shows that for his State, Mathews scored 1,334 runs, average 30.31 and took 79 wickets at 29.50 each during a short career in first-class cricket.

After serving in the First World War, he became a Curator of the Williamstown ground, the home of the club for which Mathews played most of his cricket.

He died on October 14th in 1943 in Caulfield Military Hospital, Melbourne, aged 59 years 194 days. At the time of his death, three of his sons were on active service.

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