'What a moment': Cricket world stunned by epic 61-year first

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Pictured here, Keshav Maharaj celebrates his hat-trick for South Africa against the West Indies.
Keshav Maharaj was beside himself after claiming a memorable hat-trick for South Africa. Pic: Getty

South Africa's Keshav Maharaj has clinched an incredible piece of history in an extraordinary moment that sent the cricket world wild.

The Proteas spinner picked up five West Indies wickets in a memorable second session to help his side complete a 2-0 Test series sweep after a 158-run victory in Saint Lucia.

However, it was Maharaj's hat-trick that will live long in the memory, with the left-hand tweaker becoming the first South African in 61 years to achieve the feat.

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Maharaj's heroics came as the hosts were beginning to believe they could reach their 324-run victory target.

They had recovered to 3-107 after a poor start when Maharaj (5-36) claimed the scalp of the dangerous Kieran Powell (51), who tried to launch him to the mid-wicket boundary but picked out lone fielder Anrich Nortje.

Allrounder Jason Holder was caught by short-leg Keegan Petersen for a first-ball duck, before a moment of magic completed Maharaj's milestone.

Windies batsman Joshua Da Silva fished at a ball outside leg stump but only managed to feather the ball to Wiaan Mulder at leg slip.

The South African fielder threw out an outstretched right arm and plucked the ball out of the sky to spark wild celebrations from the Proteas.

Maharaj was so excited that he sprinted away from his teammates and lunched himself into a diving celebration on the Saint Lucia outfield.

The incredible moment lit up social media as the cricket world praised the spinner for his remarkable feat.

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'Too much excitement' after hat-trick ball

"Powell was looking to come at me and I just thought about putting the ball in the right area and it found Anrich on the boundary," Maharaj told reporters.

"The second one to Jason, I was trying to bowl a straight delivery and luckily it got an inside edge.

"The hat-trick ball I had so many things going through my head as to where to put the ball. In the end I just bowled it normally and Joshua followed it down leg and full credit to Wiaan for a great catch.

"I didn't know what to do (to celebrate), I thought about doing a slide but ended up stopping dead in my tracks. There was too much excitement and adrenaline in me."

It was only the second Test hat-trick for South Africa after seamer Geoff Griffin managed the feat against England at Lord's in 1960.

They completed a first away Test series win in four years, which comes as they start a new era under recently appointed captain Dean Elgar.

"There are a lot of positives to take out of the match, but there are also obviously a lot of things we need to work on because there is always room for improvement," Maharaj said.

"But there is a good buzz in the change room and a sense of pride."

with AAP

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