At Pietermaritzburg, February 14, 2003. Sri Lanka won by ten wickets. Toss: Sri Lanka.
The classic one-day pattern is for the result to be in doubt until the final over; this was the match in which victory was secured in the first. Vaas, Sri Lanka's nippy leftarm seamer, woke up with a sore back, but the morning damp was just what he needed to soothe the pain. With the first ball of the Bangladesh innings he castled Hannan Sarkar, aiming a wildly ambitious drive. With the second, he clasped a simple return catch off Mohammad Ashraful. And with the third, he forced Ehsanul Haque to edge to second slip. For the first time ever, an international match had begun with a hat-trick. Vaas's celebration was appropriately wild: he looked like an aeroplane piloted by a drunkard. There was more turbulence for Bangladesh when umpire Tiffin gave Sanwar Hossain out leg-before: at five for four after one over, the game was up. But Vaas was still not finished. Al Sahariar lifted a limp catch to de Silva, playing his 300th one-day international, at mid-off. Then, after some gutsy resistance from Alok Kapali and Khaled Masud, and three cheap wickets for Muralitharan, Vaas returned to have Mashrafe bin Mortaza taken at gully. His figures of six for 25 were then the third-best in a World Cup. Sri Lanka's reply was dominated by the elegant Atapattu, who pulled and cover-drove his way to a classy, unbeaten 69, and became the fourth Sri Lankan (after de Silva, Jayasuriya and Arjuna Ranatunga) to pass 6,000 one-day international runs.
Man of the Match: W. P. U. J. C. Vaas. Attendance: 2,900.