Hat-tricks are a rarity when it comes to cricket. It is a rarer feat in the women's game, with only 12 hat-tricks in ODIs and 10 in Twenty20 Interntionals. However, in an ODI between West Indies Women and Australia Women at North Sound in Antigua on Wednesday, Australia pacer Megan Schutt created history. Bowling the final over of the West Indies innings, Schutt already had economical figures. On the fourth ball, she bowled Chinelle Henry and on the fifth, she had Karishma Ramharack caught by Ellyse Perry in the deep. On the sixth ball, she created history when she bowled Afy Fletcher to become the first Australian pacer to take a hat-trick in ODIs.
However, this was not the record which Schutt created. The26-year-old from Adelaide became the first player in the women's game to take two hat-tricks in the limited overs format. In 2018, during a Twenty20 International against India at the Brabourne Stadium, Schutt took her first hat-trick.
Bowling the second over, Schutt bowled Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj off successive deliveries and she got her hat-trick in the next over when Deepti Sharma mistimed the slog to mid off to be caught by Amanda Wellington. Schutt's exploits helped Australia bowl West Indies out for 180 and fifties from Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning helped Australia sweep West Indies 3-0.
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Schutt is the only Australian to take a hat-trick in both Twenty20 Internationals and ODIs. The first hat-trick in T20Is was taken by Pakistan's Asmavia Iqbal during the 2012 encounter against England at Loughborough while the first ODI hat-trick was taken by England's Carole Hodge during the 1993 World Cup clash against Denmark at Banstead. Hodge took 4/3 as Denmark were bowled out for 47 in response to England's to 286/3 with Janette Brittin scoring a century.
The Australia women's cricket team are on a high in the last couple of years, having won the 2018 World T20 in the West Indies and also comprehensively winning the Women's Ashes contest against England. Australia next face Sri Lanka in the next round of the ICC Women's Championship in October for three ODIs in Brisbane. This will be followed by a tour to South Africa in March 2020 which will come after the end of the World T20 in Australia in February.