Indian star pacer Mohammed Shami is on a roll in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup at home. Despite missing the first half of the league stage matches, Shami played a vital role in his team’s journey to the final. In the semi-final against New Zealand, Shami took 7/57 in 9.5 overs with an economy rate of 5.79. This is India’s best bowling spell in ICC Cricket World Cup history, surpassing Ashish Nehra’s 6/23 against England in 2003.
Shami’s figures are also the fifth best in World Cup history, with Australian Glenn McGrath’s 7/15 against Namibia in 2003 being the best.
A key aspect of Shami’s dominance is how brilliant he has been against left-arm hitters.
Although Shami was a batting nightmare, it was the left-arm hitters against whom he thrived. During his participation in the World Championships this year, Shami bowled 52 deliveries against left-arm hitters. He only conceded 32 points against them.
All eight of Shami’s wickets out of 23 in the tournament were left-handers. The bowler claimed the wickets of Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner and Devon Conway of New Zealand, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali of England, Charith Asalanka of Sri Lanka among the left-handed batters.
In six matches of WC 2023, Shami has taken 23 wickets at an average of 9.13 and strike rate of 10.91. His best figures are 7/57. He is the highest wicket-taker in the tournament so far.
The veteran pace bowler also completed 50 World Cup wickets, becoming the seventh bowler to do so. Shami is also the fastest to achieve this, reaching the milestone in just 17 innings, surpassing Mitchell Starc (Australia)’s record of 19 innings.
The highest wicket-taker in World Championship history is Australia’s Glenn McGrath with 71 wickets in 39 matches during his World Cup career.
Shami now has four five-wicket hauls in Cricket World Cup history, the most by any bowler. Australian left-arm quick Starc dropped to second place with three five-wicket hauls.
Earlier, on Wednesday, India chose to bat first and scored 397/4 in their 50 overs. Skipper Rohit Sharma (47 in 29 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes) and Shubman Gill (80 in 66 balls, with eight fours and three sixes) made a good start with an opening stand of 71 runs.
Virat Kohli (117 in 113 balls, nine fours and two sixes) posted his 50th ODI ton, while Shreyas Iyer (105 in 70 balls, with four boundaries and eight sixes) scored his second consecutive WC century, helping the India to post a huge score. . KL Rahul also had a 20-ball 39-run cameo, with five fours and two sixes.
Tim Southee (3/100) was the pick of the Kiwi bowlers. Trent Boult (1/86) also got a wicket.
In pursuit of 398, the Kiwis lost two early wickets. But a 181-run partnership between Daryl Mitchell (134 in 119 balls, with nine fours and six sixes) and skipper Kane Williamson (69 in 73 balls, with eight centuries and a six) kept the Kiwis alive and Indian bowlers to sweat for answers. Glenn Phillips also played a valuable knock of 41. However, a double wicket of Shami changed the game and Men in Blue played exceptionally in the death overs to restrict New Zealand to 327 in 48.5 overs.
Besides Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj got a wicket each.
Shami was adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ for his dream spell.
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