38 all out: Zimbabwe in freefall

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The Independent Online

Sri Lanka's left-arm fast bowler Chaminda Vaas became the first bowler to claim eight wickets in a match in the 1,776 one-day internationals since 1972 and Zimbabwe tumbled for the lowest total, 38 in 15.4 overs, in the opening match of the triangular series here.

Vaas' 8 for 19 from eight overs of controlled swing bettered Muttiah Muralitharan's 7 for 30 against India in Sharjah last year. Zimbabwe's total was five lower than Pakistan's 43 in 19.5 overs against the West Indies in Cape Town in February 1993, and came on a hard, blameless surface under a clear, blue sky.

Commanding the same control and movement that earned him 14 wickets in the Third Test victory over West Indies five days earlier, Vaas snared his first victim first ball and three in a hat-trick. Sri Lanka completed the embarrassment for the loss of a solitary wicket in 4.2 overs, also making it the shortest international match ever completed – in 20 overs.

With the World Cup just over a year away, the game emphasised the worrying gap that has developed between the front-runners in cricket and the also-rans.

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