CAPTAIN Chay Ankers recorded personal best bowling figures for Malvern seconds but admitted he didn’t realise he had taken a hat-trick until reminded by a team-mate.
The 41-year-old, in his second stint at the helm of the Regency Road second string, returned 6-8 from 10 overs in a 57-run victory at Wormelow in Worcestershire League Division Three.
But because his hat-trick bridged two overs, the significance of the feat, which came after the bowling all-rounder top-scored with 41 in setting the hosts 127 to win, initially went unnoticed.
Ankers said: “I didn’t even know I’d had the hat-trick until we were around celebrating it afterwards and one of the other guys said, ‘Have you just taken a hat-trick?’
“It was two wickets at the end of one over and then one at the beginning of the next so there’d been an over in between and, when I took the third, I didn’t even realise I’d taken a hat-trick. It’s the best bowling figures I’ve ever had and I’ve never taken a hat-trick before so it’s pretty good.
“I just wish I’d known it was happening but maybe I would have tensed up a little bit more because I just ran in and did what I was doing every other ball.”
Ankers led the way with 41 off 46 balls featuring eight fours. But, having fallen short of an ideal total to defend, it took a blistering start to the Wormelow innings, when the hosts were reduced to 9-4, to set up victory.
“As a captain, I would have preferred 150 but we didn’t start well,” Ankers said. “We were on 26-3 when I went into bat and 92-6 when I was out. We used a lot of overs up but didn’t get many runs and I said to the guys as they were going in that we needed to try to get to 150.
“The pitch was a bit wet, it wasn’t really doing what it normally should do and we were all out for 126.
“We attacked from the start and Mike McCollum (3-12), who opened the bowling with me, took a wicket in his second over and followed up with another fairly quickly.
“I took two wickets in the next over so they were on 9-4 and at that point it was just a procession of wickets.”
The first XI opened their win account in Division Two, beating Wormelow at home by six wickets.
Stephen Lake (3-34) helped restrict Wormelow to 153-9 before Lewis Hill (27 not out) and Ashley Jones (37no) fired them to victory.
Malvern visit Burghill and Tillington on Saturday.