Rajasthan Royals may not have the strongest bowling attacks in the Indian Premier League, but their bowlers have an uncanny habit of picking hattricks in the T20 tournament. When Shane Watson grabbed a hattrick against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Ahmedabad on Thursday night, he became the third Royals bowler to enter this 'exclusive' class.
Many may remember him for the wrong reasons but Ajit Chandila, the young spinner who was charged with spot-fixing IPL matches last season, has a hattrick to his name, too.
Pravin Tambe, the stocky leg-spinner from Mumbai, took the first hat-trick in this year's IPL. The 42-year-old Tambe was the leading wicket-taker in last year's Champions League T20. In this year's IPL, Tambe has taken his tally of wickets to 13 in eight matches -- the most by a Rajasthan bowler.
Watson's hattrick went in vain for Rajasthan Royals on Thursday. In a low-scoring match at Motera's Sardar Patel Stadium, Rajasthan failed to chase down Hyderabad's 134, losing by 32 runs. The match was dominated by bowlers from both sides. Interestingly, Tambe and Watson have performed hat-tricks this year , the first instance when two Rajasthan bowlers have achieved the feat in an IPL season.
Overall, 13 hat-tricks have been recorded in the IPL. Amit Mishra is the only one to record three hat-tricks -- one each against Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab and Pune Warriors. Yuvraj Singh has recorded two hat-tricks -- one each against Bangalore and Hyderabad.
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)