In England’s ICC Women’s World T20 2018 semi-final against India, captain Heather Knight picked two wickets with her last two deliveries.
She had D Hemalatha and Anuja Patil caught in the fifth and sixth balls respectively of her second over and was on a hat-trick, but then decided against bowling herself. It was “the best decision” for the team, she said. Besides, she’ll have a chance to get the third when England take on Australia in the final on Saturday, 24 November.
“Yes, I was aware that I was on a hat-trick, but best decision for the team was for Anya (Shrubsole) to bowl that over to the next end. Obviously, next time I come up to bowl, I'll actually be on a hat-trick,” Knight said on the eve of the final.
Hat-trick or not, it will be a big occasion for England. If they lift the cup, it will be their first World T20 trophy since the inaugural edition in 2009. That year, they had done the 20-over and 50-over double, and as current ICC Women’s World Cup champions, they have a chance to repeat that.
“It would be really special,” said Knight. “We look back at 2009, and that's a quality team in the history of women's cricket. We spoke about that team – some of the girls were obviously involved in that – and we talked about emulating them, about the opportunity to do that.
“It doesn't come around very often, and it's our chance to really cement ourselves in history as a brilliant white-ball format team.”
England had one game washed out and lost to the Windies on their way to the final. Knight, though, was delighted in how the team remained calm under pressure.
“We've shown some brilliant heart and brilliant fight this tournament, and that's going to stand us in good stead. It might not win us the game tomorrow, but it gives us a really good shot,” she said.
England won the T20I leg of the Women's Ashes, but lost the T20I tri-series in India to Australia, with both series producing stellar performances. Knight expected more of the same.
"It's probably the two best teams in the world historically over the last few years, and we've had some amazing games of cricket recently ... All history suggests it's going to be a really good game, really tight game," she said.
"We're going to have to be at the top of our game. Australians look really strong. They've played some really great cricket this tournament. It's going to be another brilliant day for women's cricket, and hopefully we've got some of the crowds similar to what's been in the semi-finals."