LONDON: Former England captain Michael Vaughan heaped praises on Ireland medium pacer Joshua Little, who took a hat-trick against New Zealand in his side's Group 1, Super 12 clash in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup on Friday and he thinks that the bowler will be getting some franchise contracts in near future.
Ireland medium-pacer Joshua Little on Friday became the second Irish player and sixth overall to take a hat-trick in an ICC T20 World Cup match.
"Joshua little is a quality bowler .. I think he will be getting a few franchise contracts .. #ICCT20WorldCup," said Vaughan in a tweet.
The bowler accomplished this landmark during his side's Group 1, Super 12 match against New Zealand in Adelaide.
In the 19th over of New Zealand's innings, who were put to bat first by Ireland, Little clinched scalps of skipper Kane Williamson (61 off 35 balls), James Neesham and Mitchell Santner (golden ducks) on the second, third and fourth ball. It reduced Kiwis from 174/3 to 174/6. He became the second bowler to take a hat trick in the 2022 edition of the tournament.
Earlier, it was Karthik Meiyappan of UAE who clinched a hat-trick against Sri Lanka in the round one of the tournament in Geelong. After all-rounder Curtis Campher, who took a hat trick back in the 2021 edition of the tournament, Little is the second Irish player to clinch a hat trick in T20 WC.
The bowler is also the sixth player overall to get a hat-trick in the global T20I cricket event.
The first bowler to take a hat-trick in T20 World Cup was legendary Australian pacer Brett Lee, who got it against Bangladesh back in the 2007 edition of the tournament. After this, the 2021 edition of the tournament witnessed three hat tricks.
Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga (against South Africa), Curtis Campher (against Netherlands) and South African pacer Kagiso Rabada (against England) were the bowlers who achieved this feat.
Coming to the match, New Zealand has finished their group-stage campaign with three wins in five matches and a total of seven points. Ireland has finished their campaign in the fifth position in the points table with three points and one win in five matches.
With a high run rate, they are big favourites to cruise into the semis even if Australia and England win their final matches.
Put to field first by Ireland, New Zealand posted 185/6 in their 20 overs.
Skipper Kane Williamson was back among the runs as he scored 61 off just 35 balls with five fours and three sixes at a strike rate of over 174. Opener Finn Allen (32 off 18 balls) and all-rounder Daryl Mitchell (31* off 21 balls) posted some valuable contributions too.
Little (3/22) was a standout bowler for Ireland. Spinner Gareth Delany (2/30) and Mark Adair (1/39) also got wickets for Ireland. Chasing 186, Ireland was off to a good start. Openers Paul Stirling and Balbirnie stitched a first-wicket stand of 68 runs in 49 balls.
However, after Stirling (37), Balbirnie (30) lost their wickets, Ireland struggled to get back into the game. With each passing ball, pacers Lockie Ferguson (3/22) and Tim Southee (2/29) and spinners Mitchell Santner (2/26) and Ish Sodhi (2/31) pulled back things in favour of the Kiwis.
Ireland finished their innings at 150/9 in 20 overs, with Barry McCarthy (6*) and Joshua Little (8*) unbeaten. Williamson's attacking 61 earned him the 'Man of the Match' title.