India pacer Mohammed Shami earned a historic feat in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 after his latest five-wicket haul in his side’s four-wicket victory over New Zealand.
Shami, who was on the bench for India’s four opening matches during the World Cup, had come in as a cover for Hardik Pandya who had gotten injured.
India’s decision to play Shami at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala on Sunday paid off as he finished with a five-wicket haul – a landmark that has etched his name in the history books. He has now surpassed an elite list of Indian bowlers to become the first to score two five-wicket hauls in the 50-over World Cup.
The six other Indian players who have clinched a fifer in past world cup tournaments include RP Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Venkatesh Prasad, Kapil Dev and Kris Srikkanth.
The pacer also went past legendary Indian bowler Anil Kumble in the list of most wickets for India in 50-over World Cups.
Shami’s first five-wicket haul in the Cricket World Cup was against England during the 2019 World Cup.
Players usually take some time to settle in after sitting on the bench for a while. But this was not the case with Shami, who made his intentions crystal clear with his very first delivery on Sunday as he uprooted New Zealand batter Will Young’s stumps in the ninth over of the Kiwi’s innings.
With Young’s wicket, Shami bagged another milestone as he climbed to third place in India’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Cricket World Cup history, surpassing Kumble.
Shami now has 36 wickets in the ODI World Cup following his latest five-wicket haul, while Kumble has 31 scalps. Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan, both of whom have claimed 44 wickets each, are India’s leading wicket takers in the history of the coveted tournament.
New Zealand’s innings on Sunday were brought back on track following two early dismissals by Daryl Mitchell (131) and Rachin Ravindra (75), who had a challenging 159-run partnership.
It was Shami who soon ended that stand by removing Ravindra in the 34th over. The one-down batter mistimed a length delivery from Shami, resulting in a catch taken by Shubman Gill at long-on.
The 33-year-old fast bowler then cleaned up the Kiwi tail by dismissing Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry, and enforcing a run out of Lockie Ferguson on the final ball of New Zealand’s innings. On the penultimate delivery, Shami finally ended Mitchell’s incredible knock of 130 off 127 balls.
India, the hosts of World Cup 2023, are now the only unbeaten side in the tournament. Rohit Sharma’s team is at the top of the table with 10 points – two more than New Zealand who are now placed second.
Team India has a week’s gap before their next fixture against England on 29 October in Lucknow. New Zealand, meanwhile, will take on Australia on 28 October in Dharamshala.