It has been a dream couple of weeks for Indian pacer Mohammed Shami at the ongoing ICC World Cup. The 33-year-old got a chance to feature in the Indian playing XI after star all-rounder Hardik Pandya suffered an injury against Bangladesh.
Shami picked up a wicket with his very first delivery as he forced New Zealand opener Will Young to chop one on to the stumps in the match at Dharamsala. Shami broke the 159-run third-wicket stand between Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell. His 5/54 helped India bowl out the Black Caps for 273. Shami was named player of the match as India registered a four-wicket win.
Shami repeated the feat against Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Thursday night as India stormed into the semifinals with an emphatic 302-run win. Shami, who came on as first change after the initial burst by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, returned figures of 5/18. He was again named player of the match.
He joined Australian speedster Mitchell Starc as the only other bowler to register three five-fors in World Cup history.
Shami had claimed 5/69 against England in a losing cause in the last edition in 2019.
Shami also became India's top wicket-taker in World Cup. He went past Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath's tally of 44 wickets. Shami has 45 scalps from just 14 matches.
Left-arm pacer Zaheer took 44 from 23 matches, while right-arm fast bowler Srinath claimed 44 from 34 games.
Bumrah (33 in 16 matches), Anil Kumble (31 in 18 matches) and Kapil Dev (28 in 26 matches) are the other top bowlers for India in the mega event.
Shami has picked up 14 wickets from just three matches in this World Cup.
Shami also became the first Indian to record four five-fors in ODI cricket. Srinath and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh have three each.
Shami also become just the second bowler in ODI history to bag three successive 4-plus wicket hauls more than once. He had claimed 4/40, 4/16 and 5/69 in three consecutive matches at the 2019 World Cup. Only Pakistan legend Waqar Younis has achieved the feat (thrice) more than Shami.