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Watch: The chicken farmer runs riot – Eddo Brandes takes hat-trick, rips through England top order to inflict record defeat

Eddo Brandes completes hat-trick against England
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: At Harare in 1996/97, Eddo Brandes floored England with a five-wicket haul including a hat-trick as Zimbabwe swept the series 3-0.

It is not clear why England brought out the best in Brandes, arguably cricket’s most celebrated chicken farmer. In four ODIs against them, Brandes claimed 11 wickets at 9.27 apiece – including 4-21 in their famous win in the 1992 World Cup and a career-best of 5-28 in the match in question.

Against other teams, Brandes claimed 59 wickets in 55 ODIs at 36.68.

Zimbabwe were in excellent form in the series. Only four years into Full Membership status, they held England to a 0-0 draw (though the second Test match ran out of time with England four wickets in hand).

Having already clinched the three-match ODI series with two close wins (by two wickets and seven runs), they were now eyeing a clean sweep. Here, Grant Flower (62) and Alistair Campbell (80) added 73 for the second wicket before Andy Flower’s 30-ball 35 helped Zimbabwe post 249-7.

It was a huge target, for no team had scored in excess of 200 in the first two ODIs. England were 9-0 when Brandes came to bowl the last ball of the third over. It was down leg-side, but Nick Knight got a touch, and Andy Flower completed an excellent tumbling catch to his left.

After two runs came at the other end. Brandes now bowled one that pitched on line and held its line to trap John Crawley leg-before. The next ball took the outside edge of Nasser Hussain’s bat and flew towards first slip, but Andy Flower dived to give Brandes and Zimbabwe their first ODI hat-trick.

Eight seasons ago, Brandes had become the first Zimbabwean to complete a first-class hat-trick as well, for Zimbabwe against New Zealand Young Internationals. Now, against England, he soon had Alec Stewart and Michael Atherton caught behind as well, taking the first wickets.

Brandes finished with 5-28, and it took a ninth-wicket stand of 41 between Robert Croft (30) and Alan Mullally (20) to take them to 118. This remains England’s lowest ODI total against Zimbabwe as well as Zimbabwe’s only 3-0 sweep against them. At that point, this was also England’s lowest total against Zimbabwe.

Twenty-four days later, Brandes took 5-41 in an ODI against India in Paarl.

Watch Eddo Brandes’ hat-trick here:

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