NEXT CHALLENGE: Gympie Regional Cricket juniors Saif Malek, Nathaniel Bailey and Connor Franz prepare for next competition.
NEXT CHALLENGE: Gympie Regional Cricket juniors Saif Malek, Nathaniel Bailey and Connor Franz prepare for next competition. Troy Jegers

The hat-trick that almost didn't happen for Gympie cricketer

CRICKET: A hat-trick in cricket is an incredible feat no matter the scenario but Gympie's all-rounder Nathaniel Bailey almost missed his chance at the Wide Bay carnival last weekend.

Bailey, 14, Saif Malek, 14 and Connor Franz, 14, were apart of Wide Bay south team taking on Norths at Bundaberg.

The Souths side bowlers were in fine form, Norths were all out for 130 which Souths chased down in 22 overs.

When Bailey was bowling his fourth and final over of his spell, the captain explained he would not bowl until the finals overs if he could not strike with the ball.

Gympie Regional Cricket - all-rounder Nathaniel Bailey.
Gympie Regional Cricket - all-rounder Nathaniel Bailey. Troy Jegers

"In my final over the captain said "if you can't do anything more I'm taking you off and you can come back towards the end of the game” after that I bowled four dot balls,” he said.

"My fifth and sixth balls of the over is when I took my wickets. The first trapped the batsmen and got him leg before wicket. The next batsman walked out and did not look overly confident and had his back to me and I bowled him straight through.”

Sitting on his two consecutive wickets, the all-rounders captain told him he was done for the day but his fellow bowler ensured he was given a chance.

Gympie Regional Cricket -  all-rounder Saif Malek.
Gympie Regional Cricket - all-rounder Saif Malek. Troy Jegers

"We came into the huddle and the captain said "you're done, no more,” but the opening bowler turned the captain and went "no, he is bowling one more he is on a hat-trick,” he said.

"My bowling partner dotted the batsmen and got a maiden. I came in on my hat-trick, the captain, opening bowler and I changed the field and then I ran in and bowled probably one of the worst balls you can bowl for a hat-trick ball. Low full toss and the batsman played above the ball and hit him above the pads.

"I appealed to the umpire and the umpire raised his finger and gave him out. I was relieved that I got the hat-trick and performing at the higher level. I had done it, gotten it and no more pressure.”

The three Gympie juniors were selected in the Wide Bay south Matthew Hayden team and will be preparing for the Lord Taveners side in March at Maryborough.

Gympie Regional Cricket - Connor Franz.
Gympie Regional Cricket - Connor Franz. Troy Jegers

It is the premier under-16s competition, with Bailey aiming for the all-rounder spot in the XI, Franz and Malek have been honing their skills to ensure their technique is spot on.

"It is a good feeling when you hit a good shot,” he said.

"It's a new experience when you take a new bowler but it is a challenge for me and I have to get used to that.”

Malek has taken advice from his family and Australian great Shane Warne to ensure he's form continues.

Gympie Regional Cricket - Saif Malek, Nathaniel Bailey and Connor Franz.
Gympie Regional Cricket - Saif Malek, Nathaniel Bailey and Connor Franz. Troy Jegers

"I need to keep trying and adjust my technique. I am a spinner and when I bowl I need to use my wrist to make it faster and adapt the older age group,” he said.

"There is room for improvement which I and my family noticed, so I will focus on that for next months competition.”

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