It has taken Chris Martin 64 test matches, 12869 deliveries and 210 wickets but the New Zealand pace bowler finally found his batting bunny. In one of life’s biggest ironies Martin, often considered the world’s best batting bunny, has stumbled upon Australian opener Phil Hughes. In cricketing terms the hunted has become the hunter.
Hughes has been dismissed by Martin in his last four innings, all caught at second slip and all caught by Martin Guptil.
At this stage the ICC is considering removing Chris Martin from the number one position on the Cricinfo ‘worst batter list’ and putting in the hapless Aussie opener. However, no Australian has ever held this position and there is concerns at the political backlash at such a move.
The Pakistani quick dismissed Daniel Vettori with a yorker and then trapped Brett Arnel lbw first ball with an accurate full length delivery. It was then time for Gul to go head to head the Chris Martin on the hat-trick delivery.
Cricinfo described the situation on their website with a touch of diplomacy.
|88.2||Umar Gul to Arnel, OUT, Arnel goes for a golden duck! plumb lbw, hits him on off after nipping back in and that is careering into middle and Tucker quickly puts the finger up. Gul on a hat-trick and with Chris Martin to face. You can’t really ask for a better opportunity|
But the reality was that everyone expected Gul to complete his first ever test hat-trick.TAB odds had Gul at a sure fire $1.09 to complete the three wickets in a row while Martin was at $11.80 to hold out.
For any fast bowler on a hat-trick, this situation was an answer to prayer. Martin is an archetypal tail-end batsman. He has the dubious honour of belonging to a select group of cricketers whose number of wickets taken is more than runs scored. He also holds the record for the most pairs recorded in Test match history. Martin is a batting bunny if ever there was one.
But only one person rose to the situation and it wasn’t Umar Gul. Martin asked for centre stump like a pro, he had been in this situation a number of times. In contrast, it was Gul who looked out of place and his good length delivery was well negiotiated by Martin’s well worn inside edge. The Kiwi fast bowler was dealt with Guls best easily.
Chris Martin was over the moon after the event and talked exclusively to Ozy Mandias Warning
“I was happy to keep the delivery out, but I definitely didn’t too. I even put a lazy $20 on me to get out before making my way to the middle but in the end I survived and will be reminding Gul after the match that he is probably the worlds worst hat-trick bowler.”