It takes something a bit special for an Australian third grade cricketer to hit the headlines around the world, but Mudgeeraba’s Gareth Morgan has made the news across the cricketing globe after an incredible match-winning feat for his team at the weekend.
Morgan, skippering Mudgeeraba Nerang & Districts Cricket Club against Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast’s Premier League Division Three, took six wickets in six balls to secure an extraordinary last-over victory on Saturday.
Surfers were 4-174 needing five runs to win, with one over remaining at the Carrera Community Centre venue. Morgan toyed with the idea of giving one of his young lads the ball, but then thought: “I’ll bowl — they can hit the winning runs off me, this younger fella doesn’t need that’.”
Off the first ball he had opener Jake Garland caught at midwicket for 65 trying to win to game with one hit. A reporter for the Gold Coast Bulletin, Garland ended up writing about the afternoon under the headline: ‘I was first to go in six-ball epic’.
Next up Connor Matheson and Surfers captain Michael Curtin were also caught on the leg side to give Morgan a hat-trick.
“I remember thinking after I got the hat-trick — I don’t want to lose this game now,” Morgan told the ABC.
Wade McDougall was then caught at point before Riley Eckersley and Brodie Phelan were bowled, leaving non-striker Nicholas Bouwmeeter stranded at the other end in disbelief.
“When I saw the stumps go back on the last ball I couldn’t believe it — I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Morgan.
“Everyone was going wild. It was incredible, I don’t think anyone could believe it had happened.”
Given the panic unfolding in the sheds as incoming batsmen scrambled for pads and gloves, it is surprising no one was timed out as happened to Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews at the Cricket World Cup. Morgan admitted one of his younger teammates did raise the subject but Mudgeeraba didn’t follow Bangladesh’s example.
The news gradually spread far beyond Queensland. The BBC led the British outlets highlighting Morgan’s feat. In India, The Hindu was one of many carrying the story. Websites as diverse as Reddit, Hong Kong-based BNN and North Carolina’s BVM featured the yarn.
On the club’s own website, however, he had to share ‘Weekend Winners’ top billing with the victors of raffles for the meat tray and for a six-pack of beer.
The most wickets taken in an over of professional cricket is five, achieved on three occasions: New Zealand’s Neil Wagner did so playing for Otago in 2011; Al-Amin Hossain for a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in 2013; and Abhimanyu Mithun for Indian state side Karnataka in 2019.
Morgan, it transpires, has already done that, in kids’ cricket. But his father Huw, who revealed this on the club’s Facebook page, added, “He didn’t get six, because there was only five wickets left at the start of the over.”