25 days to World Cup: Vaas' Valentine's day magic 

It was a spell that would have been difficult to replicate in a videogame on beginner mode.

Published: 05th May 2019 08:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2019 08:09 PM   |  A+A-

Vaas became only the third bowler to pick up a World Cup hat-trick | AFP

Online Desk

Valentine's Day 2003. That might bring back happy memories for some but ask Bangladesh and it is a day they wish never happened. The sight of Chaminda Vaas running through their side in a World Cup game is a memory they would want to bury deep never to be found.

25 days to go before the 2019 World Cup, here's a look back at Vaas' stunning spell that helped Sri Lanka destroy Bangladesh by 10 wickets in the Pool B encounter at Pietermaritzburg in the 2003 World Cup.

When Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya won the toss and elected to field first, no one could have foreseen what was about to happen next. It was a spell that would have been difficult to replicate in a videogame on beginner mode.

With the new ball in his hand, the left-arm seamer proceeded to pick up three wickets off the first three balls. A late in-dipper saw the stumps rattled and Hannan Sarkar had to depart. Mohammad Ashraful got one that pitched and reared from just short of a length and all he could do was offer a return catch to the bowler. 

The hat-trick ball was far from the stuff of dreams but Ehsanul Haq poked at a wide ball and found the slip fielder. And just like that Vaas became only the third bowler to pick up a World Cup hat-trick and the first bowler to pick up three wickets off the first three balls of an ODI.

But he wasn't done just yet. He picked up another wicket off the fifth ball of the over and just like that, he had four wickets in five balls.

After the first over, Bangladesh were 5/4 and they never recovered from that. When Vaas got rid of Al Sahariar to make it 25/5, the fate all but sealed. Despite some cameos from Alok Kapali and Khaled Mashud, Bangladesh just barely crossed 100.

And just when it looked like Mashrafe Mortaza's late flurry was going to make an impact, Vaas came back into the attack and got rid of him to bowl Bangladesh out for 124 in 31.1 overs.

Sri Lanka's openers knocked off the target in 21.1 overs and sealed a 10-wicket win that came courtesy of a magical spell from Vaas.

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