It is a cricketing miracle that could sit alongside Ian Botham 1981 or Ben Stokes 2019. But instead of Headingley, this latest incredible comeback took place in the humble surroundings of the Carrara Community Centre on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Club side Surfers Paradise had victory in their grasp against Mudgeeraba in the Gold Coast’s Premier League Division Three. Chasing 179, they needed just five runs from the final over with six wickets in hand to win.
Mudgeeraba captain Gareth Morgan had other ideas, taking six wickets in six balls to seal the unlikeliest of victories.
“It is funny, the umpire said to me at the start of the over that I needed to take a hat-trick or something to win the game,” Morgan told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“When it happened he just sort of looked at me.”
The chaos began when opener Jake Garland, a reporter for the Gold Coast Bulletin, smacked the ball straight to mid-wicket to depart for 65. The next two batters were caught at mid-on and short mid-wicket to make it three in a row – but Morgan was not done there.
“I remember thinking after I got the hat-trick – I don’t want to lose this game now. Then it just went crazy,” said Morgan.
The next batter was caught to point to leave Surfers Paradise wobbling on 174-8. Morgan then needed no further help from his team-mates in the field, with the final two batters clean bowled.
“When I saw the stumps go back on the last ball I couldn’t believe it, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
For reporter Garland, he had broken a golden rule of journalism by becoming part of the story. Not that he minded too much on this occasion.
“I mean all you can really do now is laugh about it,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Always wanted to be part of history with sport somehow, didn’t think it would be for this reason.”
Incredibly, this is not the first time Morgan has been involved in some bowling heroics.
Writing on the club’s Facebook page, Morgan’s father Huw said: “A proud father here. Gareth won’t tell you, but as a young bloke, he once took five wickets in an over! He didn’t get six, because there was only five wickets left at the start of the over.”
The most wickets taken in an over of professional cricket is five, which has been achieved on three occasions, Neil Wagner playing for Otago in 2011, Al-Amin Hossain for a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in 2013 and Abhimanyu Mithun for Indian state side Karnataka in 2019.