Ireland’s Josh Little took a hat-trick against New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval, becoming the second bowler to do so in the 2022 T20 World Cup.
New Zealand may have got to a total of 185/6 in their 20 overs against Ireland in the T20 World Cup on Friday but it would have been much more had it not been for Josh Little taking a hat-trick in the 19th over. Little is the second Irish player to take a hat-trick in the history of the T20 World Cup and the second player overall to take a hat-trick in this year’s tournament.
Earlier, UAE leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan had taken a hat-trick against Sri Lanka in the first round. Little’s first wicket was that of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. Williamson, who had been struggling with the bat throughout this tournament, had finally form and firing on all cylinders when Little had him caught out at deep backward square leg for 61 off 35 balls. Little then got two back to back LBW decisions, the first one being off the dangerous James Neesham and then off Mitchell Santner. Both players were plumb but went for the DRS anyhow. The big screen at the Adelaide Oval confirmed their dismissals.
Williamson struck up strong partnerships with Devon Conway and later Dary Mitchell. The New Zealand captain had a strike rate below 100 in the 2022 tournament before this game. On Friday, however, he smashed 35 runs off 16 balls during the partnership with Mitchell. New Zealand were also buoyed by Finn Allen’s quickfire 32 off 18 balls, helping them cross 50 within the powerplay.
This is a must-win match for New Zealand, who are locked in what is essentially a three-way race for the semi-finals in Group 1 with England and Australia. New Zealand are best placed among the three and a win against Ireland would cement a spot in the semi-finals. Ireland are not mathematically out of the race here but their inferior net run rate makes it almost impossible for them to get there.