1999 – Thomas Hills Hat-Trick for U13 District

A hat-trick is a rare event in cricket, even more so when a bowler is able to clean bowl all three victims.  But that’s exactly what happened when the South East Essex Cricket Association (SEECA) played their annual representative fixture with the Thurrock and District Cricket Association at U13 level on Monday 27th August 1999. 

The player to achieve this feat was Thomas Hills, representing Thurrock at the CE Heath Sports Ground, Wellstead Gardens, Westcliff on Sea.  The Horndon player hit the timbers with his fourth, fifth and sixth deliveries of his first over and finished with 4-18 from a fine spell.  Hills had certainly made a mark at District level in 1999.  In the previous game, he proved his prowess with the bat by scoring 51.  So with this fine cricketer dismissing the South Essex’s second, third and fourth batsman, their remaining opener Keane could only watch from the non-striker’s end as the wickets tumbled after a solid start.

Unperturbed by the events at the other end of the pitch, Keane scored a well-crafted 77, before an unplayable delivery from Ian Fuller (1-21) removed his middle stump.  In between, Jamie Riley picked up 2-15 to leave SEECA at 102 for the loss of six wickets, but the tail wagged to raise a respectable total, though helped by 40 wides.  SEECA ended their innings on 169-9 declared.

After the break, Riley was absent ill, which forced Thurrock to change their batting line-up.  Nevertheless, openers Ross Poulton (22 runs) and Daniel Taylor (26 runs) put on 59 for the first wicket and although two wickets fell in the space of two runs, Hills hit a quick 15 to reduce the required run-rate to three an over. 

Thomas Billinghurst and Henry Coburn then came together and the Orsett pair were batting so well, it appeared that Thurrock would cruise to victory.  But a leg muscle injury meant that Billinghurst had to retire and wickets began to fall.  Despite the injury, the Orsett player returned to the crease, aided by a runner; he promptly hit the winning runs with a boundary hit as Thurrock eventually reached their target in a tense, close finish, with just two wickets to spare.

Were you at this game?  Did you play in this game?  Can you add anything, such as photographs or scorecards?   If yes, the South Essex District Cricket Board would be very pleased to hear from you.  You can email the Board Secretary here.