Jofra Archer’s hat-trick against Middlesex in a T20 Blast match took the sheen off Eoin Morgan’s career-best knock in the format and gave Sussex a 12-run victory at Lord’s on Thursday, August 2.
Defending 16 runs off the last over, with Morgan going great guns, Archer got the England white-ball captain caught by Chris Jordan for 90, before knocking over John Simpson’s stumps and trapping James Fuller lbw. As a result, there were only three runs conceded and Sussex romped home in dramatic fashion.
Earlier, a 19-ball half-century from Phil Salt and 49 from Delray Rawlins, on debut, helped Sussex put up 168 after winning the toss. In reply, Morgan had to single-handedly carry Middlesex within touching distance of Sussex’s total with his 56-ball 90 as he received little support from the other batsmen – Nick Gubbins was the next-highest scorer with 25.
Archer’s rise in T20 cricket can be traced back to the Big Bash League 2017-18 where he impressed with 17 wickets from 13 matches for Hobart Hurricanes and stood out for his express pace. At 23 years of age, the man from Barbados is not yet qualified to play for England despite holding a British passport as he is mid-way through a seven-year qualification period during which he must stay in England for 210 days or more each year from now until 2022.
Though there were suggestions at one point that England might relax their regulations to fast-track Archer, Morgan had taken exception to the idea.
“No. He’s very impressive, but absolutely not,” Morgan had said when asked whether he was backing Archer for an England call-up sooner than expected. “I had to qualify even though my mum is English and I’ve had a British passport since I was born”
Archer, quite away from his future possibilities, was more worried about batting than bowling on Thursday night. “I was more worried batting here than bowling, to be honest,” Archer said after the match.
Archer’s feat prompted the authorities at Lord’s to request for his jersey to be kept at the stadium’s museum. “To get a hat-trick, I can’t really believe it – especially for a domestic T20 as well, it’s not like it’s an international game and I’m really honoured to hear that they want to put my shirt in the museum here at Lord’s,” he said.