Lakshmipathy Balaji’s India career had plenty of ups and downs. The same can be said of his Indian Premier League career.
The highest point, though, of his stint in the IPL came in the yellow jersey of the Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural season in 2008.
Playing against Kings XI Punjab at Chepauk, Balaji bagged a hat-trick to give his team the win in a close encounter. It was the first-ever hattrick in the IPL.
Riding on Dhoni’s late half-century, CSK managed to post a total of 181/4. After a good start, KXIP lost their way during the chase before Irfan Pathan’s cameo took the game to the last over.
Balaji came in to bowl the final over with KXIP needing 27 runs for victory. The Tamil Nadu pacer was hit for a six on the very first delivery but came back strongly.
He dismissed Pathan on the next delivery before sending Piyush Chawla back after that. He then completed the hattrick with the wicket of VRV Singh as CSK secured the win.
Balaji finished with the figures of five for 24 in his four overs and was awarded the Player of the Match award.