Mohammed Shami entered the record books with a sensational 7-wicket haul to power India to a thumping 70-run victory over New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup semifinals.
Shami’s career-best figures propel India to the final
Shami produced a spellbinding performance, taking 7-57 as India dismissed New Zealand for 327 while defending 398 at Mumbai’s iconic Wankhede Stadium.
His career-best figures are the best by any Indian bowler in World Cup history. Shami wrecked New Zealand’s chase after Devon Conway and Kane Williamson threatened with a century stand.
A scintillating seven-wicket haul from Mohammed Shami bowled India into the finals of the #CWC23
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) November 15, 2023
The fast bowler returned 5-28 in his second spell to trigger a dramatic collapse. This sealed India’s spot in the final against either Australia or South Africa.
Fastest to 50 World Cup Wickets
With his 7-wicket demolition, Shami became the fastest bowler to reach 50 wickets in World Cup history. He achieved the feat in just 17 matches, two faster than previous record-holder Mitchell Starc.
Shami now has 23 wickets this tournament, the most by any bowler. His heroics stretched India’s unbeaten run to 10 ahead of their bid to clinch a third World Cup title.
I waited patiently for opportunities.
Despite his current dominance, Shami didn’t feature in India’s first four games as selectors rotated the pacers. But he grabbed his chance once included, taking 11 wickets in his first three outings.
“I was waiting for my chance,” Shami said. “My return started against New Zealand in the group stage.”
Since then, he has consistently provided breakthroughs upfront and in the middle overs with clever variations. Shami credits pitching it up and seam movement for his success.
Extracted Movement to Dismantle New Zealand Batting
Chasing 398, New Zealand made a strong start before Shami struck. He removed openers Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra by finding their outside edges.
Just when Kane Williamson (67) and Daryl Mitchell (134) looked threatening, Shami broke their 107-run stand. He had Williamson caught in the deep square leg.
Shami then completed his five-for by dismissing Mitchell and running through the lower order. He fittingly ended the inning with another catch to finish with 7-57.
Sachin Tendulkar Hails ‘Shami-Final’ Spell
Legendary Indian batter Sachin Tendulkar lauded Shami’s spell as a “Shami-final”, saying, “What a performance!”
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) November 15, 2023
For Shami, defending their total and reaching the final was hugely rewarding after semifinal heartbreaks in previous World Cups.
Staying Patient for Opportunities Rewarded
Despite being left out early, Shami remained patient for chances to contribute. Keeping faith in his skills paid off handsomely.
With 23 wickets, he is now the World Cup’s leading wicket-taker. Shami proved his value after selectors opted for rotation initially.
India is eager to seize elusive World Cup glory.
India is still seeking its first World Cup trophy since 2011. After multiple agonizing semifinal defeats, Shami said the team was hungry to grasp this opportunity for global glory.
Thanks to his brilliance, India will battle for the title at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens against Australia or South Africa. After commanding performances, India is a strong favorite to finally reclaim the elusive World Cup.