DUBAI: Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir bagged a ‘special’ accolade on Saturday when he became the first spinner to claim a hat-trick in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
In the ongoing third edition of the PSL, Tahir dismissed three players on consecutive deliveries in the 16th over during the match against two-time finalists Quetta Gladiators to join the list which contains left-arm pacers Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan.
In the process, he helped Multan Sultans end up on the second spot, just behind Karachi Kings, with three wins and a loss in five matches. Their match against Karachi was abandoned due to rain giving them one point.
“I have taken wickets in England, but obviously I have grown up in Pakistan so performing at my country’s own league is really special for me,” Tahir told The Express Tribune.
The 38-year-old said as soon as he bowled the hat-trick ball he was sure that he has achieved the feat. “Things went according to my plan and that is why I was able to take the hat-trick, but this was really special for me as my family was also in Sharjah to witness the moment,” he said.
While commenting on the team effort put forth by the Sultans, Tahir said: “The credit for my hat-trick also goes to the fast-bowlers who put us in the situation. It was a great team effort. We went in the game confidently and things worked in out in our favour.”
He continued by revealing Multan’s strategy in the tournament. “The way we are playing, we hope to reach the final, but we take each game as a challenge. We respect every game and plan the game according to the team. So we are hoping for good results in the next matches,” he said.
Asked to bat first, Quetta Gladiators were restricted on 102 in 15.4 overs courtesy Tahir’s hat-trick as he gave away just 19 runs. Sohail Tanvir took three wickets for 14 runs while Junaid Khan took two for nine.
For Gladiators, the skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (30) was the top scorer.
In their reply, Multan reached the target in 16.4 overs after losing just one wicket with the help of unbeaten half-century by Kumar Sangakkara.
For Gladiators, Hasan Khan took the lone wicket.
“We are working on our weak areas and will come back with some team changes,” Sarfraz had said after the match. “The tournament is only half way through; we just have to develop a winning momentum.”
He added Quetta’s batting has to do better. “Batsmen know their mistakes and they will be working on it, to do better in the upcoming games. We just lost back to back wickets in a short period which was the main cause of our defeat.”