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Chaminda Vaas - the record-holder for most wickets in the first over of an ODI

Sachin Iyer
ANALYST
Feature
Timeless

Chaminda Vaas
Chaminda Vaas

There has been only one instance in the history of ODI cricket of a bowler taking three wickets in the first three balls of a game. And when that bowler scalped one more wicket in the fifth ball of that over, his numbers read 1-0-5-4.

The bowler is none other than the ace seamer from Sri Lanka, Chaminda Vaas.

During the 10th match of the 2003 ICC World Cup, Sri Lanka played Bangladesh at Pietermaritzburg. Sri Lanka decided to bowl first after winning the toss.

Coming out to bat first, Bangladesh were unaware of the disaster waiting for them in the very first over.

With the new ball in hand, Vaas clean bowled opener Hannan Sarkar on the very first ball. An in-swinger sneaked through his bat-pad gap and disturbed the furniture.

The experienced Mohammad Ashraful replaced Sarkar, only to be caught and bowled by Vaas on the second ball. Ashraful failed to read the slower ball, which resulted in an early shot.

Ehsanul Haque came out to bat at No. 4 to face the hat-trick ball. A lovely outswinger caught the edge of Haque's bat and flew to the slip cordon, falling safely into the hands of Mahela Jayawardene.

Vaas had achieved a feat every bowler dreams of - a hat-trick in the first three balls of an ODI, that too in a World Cup match!

But the excitement didn't end there. Sanwar Hossain hit a four off the first delivery he faced, only to perish off the next one. That meant 4 wickets in 5 balls for Vaas.

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This led to the entry of Alok Kapali, the No. 6 batsman and a predominant leg break bowler, to the crease in the very first over of the game. It was also the first instance where a No. 6 batsman had come out to play in the first over of an ODI game.

Kapali made a 38-ball 32 that helped Bangladesh cross the three-figure mark and post a score of 124 on the board. Vaas finished his spell with figures of 9.1- 2 - 25 - 6. 

Chasing a meagre target of 125, Marvan Atapattu (69 not out) and Sanath Jayasuriya (55 not out) made sure that they crossed the line within 22 overs without losing any wickets.

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