A hat-trick on a birthday - Peter Siddle achieves a magnificent feat in 2010 Ashes against England

Peter Siddle achieved a magnificent feat in 2010 as he took a hat-trick on his birthday during the opening Ashes Test against England in Brisbane.

Peter Siddle took a hat-trick on his birthday during the 2010/11 Ashes Test against England in Brisbane. (Image credit: Twitter)

Hat-tricks are always a special occasion for a bowler in any format. In Tests, hat-tricks are considered special. In the 140-plus year of Test history, there have only been 46 hat-tricks. This means that a hat-trick is a rare occurrence. A hat-trick on a bowler’s birthday is an even rarer feat. But, on November 25, 2010, one bowler achieved the magnificent feat of taking a hat-trick on his birthday. That too in the Ashes! Peter Siddle, the Australian pacer, managed to achieve this feat, which was the 38th hat-trick at that time during the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane.

It was a remarkable feat for Siddle, who was just emerging as the leader of the attack in the aftermath of the retirements of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, and Brett Lee. Australia was in a transition phase after the end of the 2006 Ashes series. There were new bowlers in the form of Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger, and Siddle. All of them had a breakthrough season in 2009 against South Africa as well as the Ashes that year. But, results were not going for Australia. In that period, Siddle emerged as the leader of the attack along with Johnson.

But, in the 2010/11 Ashes, the likes of Hilfenhaus and Johnson were struggling. The onus was on Siddle to ensure that Australia had the potency to bowl out a powerful England batting line-up.

Peter Siddle shines for Australia in Brisbane

The England team had a powerful batting line-up. Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, and Matt Prior formed the core of the side. Heading into the 2010/11 Ashes, England was considered to be the favorites to win in Australia after a gap of 24 years. The opening Test of the Ashes in Brisbane set the mood for what was to be a historic series.

England chose to bat in Brisbane and they started badly, losing Strauss in the first over to Hilfenhaus. Cook and Trott shared a solid partnership but Shane Watson broke the stand by sending Trott back for 29. Cook and Pietersen shared a bigger stand of 76 as the conditions eased off. Pietersen neared a fifty but he edged a full ball from Siddle to second slip.

Siddle once again struck as he removed Paul Collingwood cheaply. But, England was boosted by yet another stand between Cook and Bell. The left-hander went past fifty and the partnership was worth 72. With both batsmen settled in, it looked like England would set a big score. Enter Siddle and he would change the course of the match.

Siddle takes a hat-trick

In the 66th over of the day, Siddle was running in as he looked to break yet another dangerous stand. The fourth ball of the over saw Siddle pitching a full delivery across to the left-hander outside off. Cook, who had a tendency to poke at these deliveries, duly edged it to slip as he fell for 67. With his tail up, Siddle was going in for the kill. The bowler bowled yet another full, fast and straight delivery to Matt Prior. The England keeper looked to drive but the ball hit the pad and cannoned into the middle stump.

Siddle was now on a hat-trick. The crowd in Brisbane was now cheering him on as they were on their feet. Siddle ran in hard to Stuart Broad, the left-hander. He bowled a full ball that swung in late on leg stump. Broad was hit on the pads and Siddle roared in appeal. The umpire raised the finger. On the airwaves, former Australia skipper Mark Taylor’s words memorably echoed, “He has given it. He has given it. Peter Siddle has a hat-trick on his birthday.”

But, there would be a bit of an anti-climax to the hat-trick. Broad opted for the review and the umpire took it upstairs. Replays showed that there was no bat involved. The ball was pitching in line with the stumps. More importantly, it was hitting the leg stump and the decision stayed. Siddle had taken the 38th hat-trick in Tests. But, he became the first individual to take a hat-trick on his birthday.

Australia suffer in the 2010/11 Ashes

The highlight for Australia would definitely be Siddle’s hat-trick. But, the 2010/11 Ashes would prove to be a disaster for Australia. Australia dominated the Brisbane Test thanks to centuries from Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin. But, England decimated Australia in the second innings with Strauss and Trott hit centuries. The star of the innings was Cook who hit a magnificent 235 as England ended on 517/1 declared.

England managed to win the Adelaide Test match thanks to a magnificent double ton from Pietersen. But, Australia bounced back to win the third Test in Perth with Johnson taking nine wickets in the match. At the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, Australia was shot out for 98. Siddle took six wickets but Trott hit a brilliant century to help England win the Melbourne Test in grand style.

In the Sydney Test, Cook, Bell, and Prior hit centuries as England dominated Australia to win the match. It was the first time in 24 years that England would win an Ashes series Down Under. Australian cricket would then undergo an Argus Review which looked into ways as to how Australia would be a competitive force in world cricket. But, Siddle’s hat-trick, along with Johnson’s spell in Perth and Hussey’s batting would be the only memorable moments for Australia in a tough series.

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