In the sport of cricket, a hat-trick is an occasion where a bowler takes three wickets in consecutive deliveries. As of 5 August 2016, this rare feat has been achieved 42 times in over two thousand Test matches, the form of the sport in which national representative teams compete in matches of up to five days' duration. The first Test hat-trick was recorded on 2 January 1879, in only the third Test match to take place, by the Australian pace bowler Fred Spofforth, nicknamed "The Demon Bowler", who dismissed three English batsmen with consecutive deliveries at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The most recent bowler to achieve the feat was Sri Lankan spin bowler Rangana Herath against Australia on 5 August 2016. At least one bowler from each of the ten nations that play Test cricket has taken a Test hat-trick.
A player has taken two hat-tricks in the same Test match only once. Playing for Australia against South Africa in the first match of the 1912 Triangular Tournament at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, leg spinner Jimmy Matthews took a hat-trick in South Africa's first and second innings, both taken on 28 May 1912. He completed both hat-tricks by dismissing South Africa's Tommy Ward. Only three other cricketers have taken more than one Test hat-trick: Australian off spinner Hugh Trumble (two years apart, between the same teams at the same ground), Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram (just over a week apart, in consecutive matches between the same teams) and English fast bowler Stuart Broad. Three players have taken a hat-trick on their Test debut: English medium pace bowler Maurice Allom in 1930, New Zealand off-spinner Peter Petherick in 1976, and Australian pace bowler Damien Fleming in 1994. Geoff Griffin took the fewest total Test wickets of any player who recorded a hat-trick, taking only eight wickets in his entire Test career. During the match in which he took his hat-trick, Griffin was repeatedly called for throwing by the umpires and never bowled again in a Test match. Australian Peter Siddle is the only bowler to take a hat-trick on his birthday, and Bangladeshi off spinner Sohag Gazi is the only player to score a century and take a hat-trick in the same Test match.
Australian Merv Hughes is the only bowler to take a hat-trick where the wickets fell over three overs. He took a wicket with the final ball of an over. With the first ball of the next over he took the final wicket of the West Indies innings. He then removed the opener Gordon Greenidge with the first ball of the West Indies second innings.
In the five-match series between a Rest of the World XI and England in 1970, a hat-trick was taken by South African Eddie Barlow in the fourth match, at Headingley (the last three of four wickets in five balls). These matches were considered to be Tests at the time, but that status was later removed.
England and Australia combined have taken over half of all Test match hat-tricks to date, 24 of 42 (58.53%).