Watch: Chaminda Vaas completes hat-trick with first three balls of a World Cup match
Watch: Chaminda Vaas completes the hat-trick with the first three balls of a 2003 World Cup match, against Bangladesh at Pietermaritzburg.
In 1987, Chetan Sharma had become the first to do the hat-trick in World Cup cricket. Saqlain Mushtaq became the second, in 1999. In all, there were 15 instances in men’s ODIs when the 2003 World Cup began.
Bangladesh were the newest additions to the exclusive group of ICC Full Members at this point. However, they had a disastrous start to the World Cup, losing to Canada by 60 runs.
Not many gave them a chance against Sri Lanka, but not many were prepared for how things unravelled in the first over of the match either.
Vaas was no stranger to hat-tricks. Just over a year ago, he had taken out Stuart Carlisle, Craig Wishart, and Tatenda Taibu at the SSC en route his famous 8-19, still the best figures in ODI history.
Facing him was Hannan Sarkar, who would develop a penchant for getting out to the first ball of the match. James Anderson would get him later that year. In Test cricket, he would fall five times to the first ball of the match – three of them to Pedro Collins.
Here, Vaas’ first ball pitched on off and held its line. Hannan went for an expansive drive – with minimal footwork – and was clean bowled.
The second ball was on leg and middle. Mohammad Ashraful tried to defend but was a tad too early into his stroke. The ball hit the bat and lobbed back to Vaas.
As Ehsanul Haque took strike, Sanath Jayasuriya surrounded him with fielders. The next ball pitched on line, took the outside edge, and Mahela Jayawardene did not have to move at all for the catch.
Vaas became the first – and only, till date – bowler to complete a hat-trick within the first three balls of a men’s ODI. In celebration, he looked like, to quote the Wisden Almanack, “an aeroplane piloted by a drunkard.”
He was not done either. Sanwar Hossain began with a boundary, but Vaas trapped him leg-before with the ball after that. At that point his figures read 0.5-0-4-4. Opener Al Shahriar was yet to face a ball.
Bangladesh soon became 25-5 before Alok Kapali (32) and Khaled Mashud (20) took them to 70. Then Mashrafe Mortaza (28 in 23 balls) swung his bat around to take them to 124. Vaas finished with 6-25.
Marvan Atapattu (69*) and Jayasuriya (55*) completed the chase in 21.1 overs.
Watch Chaminda Vaas’ hat-trick here: