Hat-tricks are a rarity in the game and thus when they do happen, they generate excitement. Since its inception in 2008, there have been 19 instances of a bowler taking a hat-trick in the IPL. Three hat-tricks came in the very first season in 2008 while last year's edition saw two of them.
On that note, let us look at the seven fast bowlers who struck gold in three consecutive balls in the IPL.
7 fast bowlers who have taken an IPL hat-trick
1. Lakshmipathy Balaji (CSK) - vs KXIP (IPL 2008)
India had to wait till the last over of the 31st game to witness a hat-trick in its newest T20 tournament, the IPL. It was a game between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in Chennai where hometown boy, Lakshmipathy Balaji, topped the game off with a hat-trick in the last over.
Chasing 182 for victory, Punjab seemed to be faltering after losing six wickets for 115 runs. However, they were kept in the hunt by Irfan Pathan's quick-fire 40. When it came to Balaji's last over, the equation was well in favour of the bowling side, with Punjab needing 19 runs off four balls.
First, Irfan Pathan heaved Balaji to the square boundary on the leg side, straight into the safe hands of Suresh Raina. On the next ball, Piyush Chawla looked to go big and only succeeded in clearing mid-off as Chamara Kapugedera took a catch running in from the boundary. VRV Singh heavily mistimed the next ball which flew straight up and fell into the gloves of captain MS Dhoni.
Balaji thus became the first-ever bowler in IPL to take a hat-trick. The said hat-trick can be seen by clicking here.
2. Makhaya Ntini (CSK) - vs KKR (IPL 2008)
Eight days after Balaji's hat-trick, yet another CSK fast bowler bagged a hat-trick, this time at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata against KKR. It was the South African Makhaya Ntini who achieved the feat for the franchise.
On the last ball of the fifth over, Ntini knocked over Sourav Ganguly's middle stump after the batsman tried to play a rash shot by charging down the wicket. Summoned back by the captain in the 16th over, Ntini knocked over Debabrata Das' leg stump with a searing yorker. On the next ball he knocked over David Hussey's off-stump with a good-length ball to complete a two-over hat-trick.
Ntini's IPL hat-trick was special. Each wicket was a bowled dismissal and with every ball, he took out a different stump of the batsman. Talk about unique! Ntini was the first foreigner to take a hat-trick in the IPL.
3. Praveen Kumar (RCB) - vs RR (IPL 2010)
There were three hat-tricks in the 2009 edition of the IPL but all of them belonged to spinners. Amit Mishra took one while Yuvraj Singh took two hat-tricks in a space of two weeks. In 2010, though, another fast bowler added his name to the list of IPL hat-trick heroes and it happened to be Praveen Kumar.
Playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, the finalists of the 2009 edition of the competition, Kumar was bowling the 16th over of the innings with Rajasthan Royals struggling at 85-4. The seamer, hailing from Meerut, bowled a fine slow yorker to Damien Martyn to knock the batsman's stumps in the second ball of the over. The speed gun showed a bowling speed of a mere 107 kmph.
On the next ball, Kumar banged the ball short to Sumit Narwal who took his eyes off the ball and played an unconvincing pull. Manish Pandey, running in from the deep boundary, took a juggling catch to dismiss the batsman. On the hat-trick ball, Kumar struck with his slowish pace and bowled another back-of-a-length ball. This time Paras Dogra lost his middle stump.
All three balls were slowish - 107, 125 and 117 kmph on the speed-gun. Rajasthan slumped from 85-4 to 85-7and were eventually bowled out for a paltry 93 runs.
Watch Praveen Kumar's hat-trick here.
4. Shane Watson (RR) - vs SRH (IPL 2014)
No fast bowler could take a hat-trick in three consecutive seasons of the IPL after 2010. In the 30th game of IPL 2014, Shane Watson became the third foreign player and the second overseas fast bowler to bag a hat-trick in the IPL. Just like Makhaya Ntini, Watson also took one wicket at the end of an over and two wickets in his next over.
On the last ball of the fourth over, Watson dismissed a rampaging Shikhar Dhawan, with the ball just clipping the outside of the off-stump. The Australian all-rounder came back in the 16th over to castle compatriot Moises Henriques. The Portugal-born batsman tried to muscle Watson's first ball but it went straight to Ajinkya Rahane's hands. On the next ball, Karn Sharma tried to play safe but only managed to feather the ball to the keeper.
Shane Watson thus managed to get an IPL hat-trick having bowled only two overs on the night. Relive Watson's heroics here.
5. Andrew Tye (GL) - vs RPS (IPL 2017)
The 2017 edition of the IPL was the second one to feature two temporary teams - Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions. Both sides reached the play-offs at least once, with RPS falling short of the title by just a single run in 2017. It was only fair that there be an incident worth remembering when these two sides locked horns in the IPL. What better than a hat-trick?
Andrew Tye was playing his debut game against RPS and had bowled very tidily in the game, taking two wickets for 13 runs in three overs. The last over of the innings was again Tye's responsibility.
On the first ball, Ankit Sharma heaved the ball straight and high before Brendon McCullum took a brilliant catch to dismiss the youngster. Next ball, Tye took the pace off the ball as Manoj Tiwary looked for a big hit on the leg side. Ishan Kishan took the catch at the boundary.
Shardul Thakur faced the hat-trick ball. To be fair there was nothing much he could have done. A slow ball on a yorker length, with just 119 kmph pace behind it, zoomed in straight for the middle stump. Let alone a mainstream bowler, not many front-line batsmen would have pick up that one.
Tye thus became the second Australian, fourth foreigner and the first debutant to capture an IPL hat-trick. Watch Tye's eventful hat-trick here.
6. Jaydev Unadkat (RPS) - vs SRH (IPL 2017)
The Rising Pune Supergiants had seen a hat-trick taken against them in the 2017 edition of the IPL. This time a hat-trick came in their favour, and that too in the last over of a game. Set a modest target of 149 to win, Sunrisers Hyderbad got themselves to a situation where they needed 13 runs off six balls for a victory.
Steve Smith threw the ball to Jaydev Unadkat who had bowled three overs for 30 runs and taken two wickets. On the second ball of the over, Bipul Sharma swung Unadkat over to the leg side where Ben Stokes pouched a good catch under pressure. Rashid Khan then mistimed one high in the air to give Unadkat an easy caught and bowled. The next ball was the hat-trick ball.
There were, however, two more milestones awaiting the left-arm bowler on this delivery. He had taken four wickets on the night and 99 wickets in the IPL.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar hit the fourth ball of the over with little to no conviction. He was taken at the edge of the circle as Unadkat experienced a triple treat. A fifer, a hat-trick, and his 100th IPL wicket. Three birds with one stone, we saw it. It can be relived here.
7. Sam Curran (KXIP) - vs DD (IPL 2019)
Sam Curran's hat-trick is the latest one in the IPL by a fast bowler and by an overseas bowler. There was another angle to Curran's hat-trick. All the other hat-tricks by fast bowlers in the IPL were taken in the first innings. Curran took his in an IPL run-chase and that too at the death.
The left-armer was brought back into the attack by Ravichandran Ashwin in the 18th over when Delhi needed 23 runs off 18 balls. Curran bowled a brilliant over, giving away only four runs and dismissing two batsmen that included Colin Ingram who was batting on 37 off 26 balls.
On the last ball of the over, he dismissed Harshal Patel who feathered the ball to keeper KL Rahul, which left Delhi needing 19 runs off two overs. Curran returned to bowl the last over with a seemingly safe 15 runs to defend.
On the first ball of the last over, he bowled a swinging yorker to knock out Kagiso Rabada's leg-stump. The 11th man Sandeep Lamichanne was out to face Curran's hat-trick ball. Curran, unerring on his length, again went for a yorker on the stumps and ripped the off-stump out of the pitch.
Curran was named the Man of the Match for his brilliant spell that read 2.2-0-11-4 and also for his opening batting cameo, a 10-ball-20. The left-armer's hat-trick can be seen here.