Vaas hat-trick highlights Sri Lanka's emphatic victory

Published: Saturday, February 15, 2003, 0:40 [IST]
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Pietermaritzburg: Chaminda Vaas created a World Cup sensation on Friday when he grabbed a hat-trick with the first three balls of the match to fire Sri Lanka to a 10-wicket romp over Bangladesh. The 29-year-old left-arm seamer also took a fourth wicket later in the over to leave Bangladesh struggling at 5-4 after being sent to bat. Vaas, who already has One-day cricket's best figures of 8-19, finished with 6-25 as Bangladesh was shot out for 124 in the 32nd over.

Sri Lanka surpassed the meagre target in the 22nd over with Sanath Jayasuriya unbeaten on 55 and fellow-opener Marvan Atapattu on 69. Sri Lanka's second win in Group 'B', following its success over New Zealand on Monday, puts it a victory away from qualifying for the super six round. Bangladesh stunned by Canada in its first match, suffered its 28th consecutive One- day defeat and now has only pride to play for in the rest of the preliminary league. Vaas overshadowed strike bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, who chipped in with 3-25, within the first five minutes of the game.

He bowled Hannan Sarkar with the very first ball, took a return catch off Mohammad Ashraful with the second and had Ehsanul Haque caught in the slips by Mahela Jayawardene with the third. New batsman Sanwar Hossain drove the fourth ball to the boundary, the fifth was a wide, before Hossain was trapped leg before next ball. It was only the third hat- trick at the World Cup, but the first time in One-day cricket history that it came off the first three balls of the match.

India's Chetan Sharma claimed the first triple against New Zealand at Nagpur in 1987, while Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq took the second against Zimbabwe at the Oval in 1999. "I didn't know about the record," Vaas said later. "I'm not really interested in records. As long as I am fit and bowling well, that's the important thing. "The ball was swinging from the very start and to get the wicket with the first ball made me very happy. On the hat-trick ball, I wasn't really feeling anything. I just wanted to make sure I put the ball in the right place." His captain Jayasuriya added, "Vaas was brilliant today and we capitalised on that.

"It's good to be playing well and we look forward to the rest of the competition with confidence." Sri Lanka plays Canada and Kenya before the key match against the West Indies at Cape Town on February 28. Bangladesh captain Khaled Mashud conceded his team was not playing well. "We are capable of doing better than this, but the batting is just not working," he said. v "Vaas was very good, but we could not build a partnership after those early strikes. I Hope we can improve in the remaining games." Bangladesh takes on the West Indies at Benoni next Tuesday.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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