On this day in 2003: Sri Lanka bundle out Canada for then lowest ODI total

The 2003 Cricket World Cup was the first edition of the tournament which had 14 teams playing in it. This allowed the ICC to have four associate nations playing in the tournament. For Canada, it was a huge tournament as it was only the second edition after 1979 where they had qualified for the World Cup.

The match was being played at the Boland Park in Paarl. Chaminda Vaas, who eventually ended up being the highest wicket-taker of the tournament, had decimated Bangladesh in the previous match. He took a hat-trick in that match. Against Canada, it was young Prabath Nissanka who got into the action first, by dismissing John Davison in the second over.

In the first one hour, Vaas and Nissanka gave a masterclass with the ball. It was almost like skipper Sanath Jayasuriya wanted to bowl them straight 10 overs and that was something which he could have done. The duo bowled 14 overs together, bowling seven apiece. By the time they took rest, they had dismissed seven batsmen of the Canada team. When the seventh wicket fell Canada’s score was just 21.

At this moment, Canada were staring at the record for the lowest-ever ODI total. Sri Lanka had dismissed Zimbabwe for 38 in 2001, which was the lowest total in the format until then. Before one could realise Muttiah Muralitharan and Dilhara Fernando finished the tail as Canada now held the record for the lowest ODI total ever, 36 all out.

Sri Lankan destruction

Nissanka took the maximum wickets, four followed by Vaas, who picked up three. Muralitharan took one while Fernando picked up two. In reply, it took Sri Lanka mere 28 balls to wrap up the chase but lost one wicket in the process. Canada did make a comeback in the tournament in the next match by scoring slightly more than 200 runs, while the Sri Lankan team managed to sail through the semis. They were undoubtedly one of the best teams in the tournament.

Interestingly, a year later, the record went back to Zimbabwe when they were dismissed for 35. Any guess which team? Sri Lanka. More interestingly, Sri Lanka’s lowest-ever ODI total of 43 all-out happened at the same Boland Park in Paarl, when South Africa crushed them during a 2011 ODI match.