December 30, 1994
As if Alec Stewart needed any more pain in his life. Batting with a broken finger, the English wicketkeeper watched from the other end as Shane Warne, the man who had terrorised the Ashes tourists, removed three of them in three balls to vaporise any English resistance on the last day of 1994/95’s second Test at the MCG.
The 21st hat-trick in Test history gilt-edged a memorable fifth-day thumping in which England was bowled out for 92 and lost by 295 runs. The 'Sheik of Tweak' enjoyed himself thoroughly on the fifth-day pitch, getting fireballs to spit at the right-handers from the footmarks worn by pacemen Devon Malcolm, Darren Gough, Craig McDermott and Damien Fleming.
The leggie commenced his thirteenth over at 11.44 am. England was already in deep trouble at 6/91, having started the final day at 4/79. Warne dismissed Phil DeFreitas with the fourth ball of the over, plum lbw. Gough, who bludgeoned 20 in the first innings, pushed forward at the next ball and nicked it to wicketkeeper Ian Healy.
The usual pressure-building pause followed the arrival of Malcolm to the crease. Perhaps unnerved by the presence of six Australian fielders within three metres of his bat, the tailender sparred conservatively at a kicking leg-spinner and gloved it for David Boon to take a spectacular catch at short leg. The MCG erupted.
"It was the quickest I’ve ever run to get down to Boony," Warne said later. "I think I stuck my tongue in his ear." Warne’s triple-strike was the first hat-trick by an Australian in an Ashes Test for over 90 years. They were Warne’s only wickets for the second innings, giving him the mighty match figures of 9/80.
McDermott ended the match in the next over by dismissing Phil Tufnell. Stewart finished eight not out, but the broken finger - his second of the summer - ended his tour. Australia went on to take the series 4-1 and retain the Ashes, with Warne taking 27 wickets at 20.33.
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