Colombo:New Zealand's Jacob Oram said on Thursday he was unaware he had taken a hat-trick during the thrilling three-run win over Sri Lanka in a Twenty20 international.
Oram's three wickets in three balls, but in separate overs, was missed by almost everyone at the Premadasa stadium last night, including Oram's team-mates, the Sri Lankans and television commentators.
The tense finish and the helter-skelter nature of the Twenty20 game ensured the rare feat was forgotten, till Oram returned to the team hotel late at night after the match.
"The first I knew of it was when I got to the hotel," Oram, 31, a veteran of eight years in international cricket, said.
"My parents had watched the match and the old man had e-mailed to say congratulations on the hat-trick.
"That was the first I had heard of it."
The tall all-rounder took a return catch off Angelo Mathews with the last ball of his third over, the 17th of the innings.
He was then called on to bowl the final over with Sri Lanka needing nine runs with three wickets in hand to surpass New Zealand's 141-8.
Oram dismissed Malinga Bandara and Nuwan Kulasekara off the first two deliveries, both to catches in the deep, and conceded just five runs in the over to clinch victory for the Kiwis.
It was only the second hat-trick in Twenty20 internationals after Australian fast bowler Brett Lee's three in three against Bangladesh in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007.
Oram, who thought he was on a hat-trick after the two wickets in the final over, said he was not surprised no one noticed that it had already been achieved.
"A lot happens in the last overs of these Twenty20 games, it's pretty intense out there," he said. "And it happened in two separate spells, so its not surprising."
The win was New Zealand's first on the current tour of Sri Lanka where they were defeated in both the preceding Test matches.
The second Twenty20 match will be played at the Premadasa stadium tomorrow before New Zealand join India and Sri Lanka in a limited-overs tri-series starting here on September 8.