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Chaminda Vaas is a former Sri Lankan cricketer alloutcricket.com

Sri Lanka were expected to beat minnows Bangladesh comfortably. But, nobody expected this match to go down in history books.

The tenth fixture of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 saw Sri Lankan spearhead Chaminda Vaas take a hat-trick off the first three balls for the first time in an ODI.

The island nation won the toss and put Bangladesh in to bat at the picturesque City Oval at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Hannan Sarkar walked in to take the first ball and start the Bangladeshi challenge. He would soon be watching from the stands.

Vaas got the ball to pitch around off-stump and saw it rattle the stumps as it swung back into Sarkar. The batsman was trying to play an aggressive shot through the covers, but the ball sneaked through.  The Sri Lankans’ celebration was muted.

Mohammad Ashraful was the next batsman to take strike. This time, Vaas bowled the ball a touch slower.

The ball stopped on Ashraful, who was very early into his shot. He spooned a catch back towards Vaas. A stunned Ashraful had a look at the wicket and then trudged off to the pavilion. The excitement in the stadium inevitably grew.

The buzz across the ground as Ehsanul Haque, the Bangladeshi No. 4 came in to face the hat-trick ball, almost relayed the fact that something special was about to take place.

A sense of anticipation gripped the Sri Lankans too as they surrounded the batsman with fielders. There were three slips, a gully and man at forward short-leg waiting in anticipation for the hat-trick ball.

Vaas ran in with the hope of writing history. The occasion did not have any effect on the wily customer as he held on to his line around off-stump.

Surprisingly, Ehsanul, rather than block the ball, tried to drive it with full swagger, only to see it take his edge and present an easy catching opportunity to the ever-dependable Mahela Jayawardene at second slip.

The Bangladesh team was stunned. History had been created.

Sri Lankan openers Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya put an end to the Bangladesh misery and completed a 10-wicket win later in the day.

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