Australian club cricketer takes six wickets in final over to win match

The Mudgeeraba team celebrating their victory over Surfers Paradise
Surfers Paradise were 174-4 chasing 179 going into the final over before the bowling heroics of Mudgeeraba captain Gareth Morgan (centre – holding the ball)

It is a cricketing miracle that could sit alongside Ian Botham 1981 or Ben Stokes 2019. But instead of Headingley, this latest incredible comeback took place in the humble surroundings of the Carrara Community Centre on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Club side Surfers Paradise had victory in their grasp against Mudgeeraba in the Gold Coast’s Premier League Division Three. Chasing 179, they needed just five runs from the final over with six wickets in hand to win.

Mudgeeraba captain Gareth Morgan had other ideas, taking six wickets in six balls to seal the unlikeliest of victories.

“The umpire told me I need a hat-trick to win this one. It was a bit of a laugh at the time, I thought it was extremely unlikely,” Morgan told the BBC.

“When we won it was very chaotic. My team – half of who are under 19 – were excitedly running around. I was in a state of disbelief. The umpire just shook his head, walked up to me and said ‘that’s unbelievable’.

“Afterwards in the clubhouse, everyone kept coming up and asking me the story, the beers kept appearing on the table in front of me.”

Morgan joked he is “considering never bowling again”, adding: “I’ve got two games this weekend and I feel I’m already a marked man, I have had messages from people I am playing. Cricket is a great equaliser. I could end up finding myself with two golden ducks and if I do get talked into bowling I could go for 50 runs.”

The “chaos” began when opener Jake Garland, a reporter for the Gold Coast Bulletin, smacked the ball straight to mid-wicket to depart for 65. The next two batters were caught at mid-on and short mid-wicket to make it three in a row – but Morgan was not done there.

“Before I knew it, I had a hat-trick and I was sitting there trying to contain the excitement of the guys in my team saying there is only one shot here and we lose the game,” he said.

The next batter was caught at point to leave Surfers Paradise wobbling on 174-8. Morgan then needed no further help from his team-mates in the field, with the final two batters clean bowled.

“I think that [final ball] is when I felt most comfortable,” he continued. “The ball was coming out well. The last batsman was going to need to play a shot if they’re going to win this game, I just put it on the stumps to see what he does. And fortunately, he played a shot to try and take the win and he missed it.”

For reporter Garland, he had broken a golden rule of journalism by becoming part of the story. Not that he minded too much on this occasion.

“I mean all you can really do now is laugh about it,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Always wanted to be part of history with sport somehow, didn’t think it would be for this reason.”

Incredibly, this is not the first time Morgan has been involved in some bowling heroics.

Writing on the club’s Facebook page, Morgan’s father Huw said: “A proud father here. Gareth won’t tell you, but as a young bloke, he once took five wickets in an over! He didn’t get six, because there was only five wickets left at the start of the over.”

The most wickets taken in an over of professional cricket is five, which has been achieved on three occasions, Neil Wagner 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.

“I have (kept the ball),” Morgan added. “My club president told me to give it to him and he’ll make sure to mount it on something special.”

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