Surfers Paradise were 174-4 chasing 179 heading into the final before Mudgeeraba captain Gareth Morgan performed heroics

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

The Surfers Paradise club were within their grasp of victory against Mudgeeraba in the Gold Coast 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 and took six wickets in six balls to secure the most unlikely of wins.

“It’s funny, the umpire said to me at the start of the over that I need to get a hat-trick or something to win the game,” Morgan told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“When it happened, he just looked at me.”

The chaos began when opener Jake Garland, a reporter for the Gold Coast Bulletin, hit the ball straight to mid-wicket for 65. The next two batters were caught at mid-wicket and just short of mid-wicket, making it three times in the middle row – but Morgan wasn’t done with that yet.

“I remember thinking after I got the hat-trick: I don’t want to lose this game now. Then it just got crazy,” Morgan said.

The next batsman was caught punching out, leaving Surfers Paradise reeling at 174-8. Morgan then needed no further help from his teammates in the field as the last two batters bowled error-free.

“When I saw the stumps go back on the last ball I couldn’t believe it, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.

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

“I mean, all you can really do right now is laugh about it,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Always wanted to be part of sports history in some way, but for this reason I never thought of it.”

Incredibly, this isn’t the first time Morgan has been involved in bowling exploits.

Morgan’s father Huw wrote on the club’s Facebook page: “Proud father here. Gareth won’t tell you, but as a young lad he once took five wickets in one over! He didn’t get a six because it was like that.’ At the start of the over there were only five wickets left.

The most wickets in an over in professional cricket is five, which has been achieved three times: Neil Wagner playing for Otago in 2011, Al-Amin Hossain for a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in 2013 and Abhimanyu Mithun for India’s Karnataka State in 2019.

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