Watch: Keshav Maharaj became just the second South African to take a Test hat-trick in the second Test against West Indies, but he didn’t do it all by himself, with the milestone-sealing scalp coming courtesy of an astonishing reflex grab by Wiaan Mulder, stationed at leg-slip.
The game had been in the balance before Maharaj’s three-wicket burst, with Kieran Powell’s half-century taking West Indies past three figures in their pursuit of in excess of 300 to win the second Test. However, Maharaj lured the opener into an injudicious shot, sweeping to deep midwicket and the left-arm spinner added another with his next ball, former West Indies captain Jason Holder prodding to short leg.
It left Joshua da Silva to face the hat-trick ball, greeted by a suffocating close-in field. Maharaj angled the delivery down the leg-side, with the batsman getting a thin inside-edge in his attempt to defend. The ball flew fast and low to the left of Quinton de Kock, and seemed destined to bisect the keeper and the close-in fielder behind square on the leg side, only for Mulder to stick out his right hand and complete an extraordinary catch. The all-rounder collapsed onto his back in celebration, with Maharaj tearing off and putting in a Jurgan Klinsmann-esque belly slide before being mobbed by his teammates.
The moment proved pivotal, effectively ending the hosts’ resistance. Not long after, Maharaj completed his five-wicket haul – the 31-year-old’s seventh in Test cricket – to seal an 158-run win and a 2-0 whitewash. The result was a lucrative one for the Proteas, with the series win allowing them to leapfrog Pakistan in the World Test Championship points table, and the recently announced prize structure giving them an extra US$100,000 as a reward.
Watch the hat-trick-sealing catch below:
Wiaan Mulder that is outstanding 😱
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) June 21, 2021
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