Lancashire paceman Jordan Clark took one of the highest quality hat-tricks in modern cricket as he removed Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow -- three of the world's leading batsmen -- while playing against arch-rivals Yorkshire on Sunday. England captain Root and New Zealand skipper Williamson are third and fourth in the International Cricket Council's Test batting rankings, with Bairstow a far from lowly 16th in the standings. Between them the Yorkshire trio have scored more than 14,000 Test runs yet they all succumbed off successive balls to the 27-year-old Clark on the first day of the 'Roses' County Championship match, with Root and Bairstow's hopes of spending time in the middle batting in red-ball cricket ahead of England's first Test against India next month now resting on the second innings.
Root, who made 22 off just 19 balls on Sunday, looked in good touch as he hit consecutive fours at the start of Clark's second over.
But he was then lbw to the Lancashire all-rounder, with Williamson falling in similar fashion next ball.
Bairstow, who has been in brilliant white-ball form for England recently, came in for the hat-trick delivery and edged an intended drive, with the Test wicket-keeper caught by England colleague Jos Buttler in the slips.
Clark's treble strike left Yorkshire struggling at 61 for four at lunch.