Senior Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami once again showcased his cricketing prowess in the 2023 World Cup against New Zealand. During the group stage clash in Dharamsala, Shami marked his tournament debut with a notable five-wicket haul. In the semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium, he delivered a stellar performance, claiming figures of 7/57. This accomplishment not only placed him among the exclusive group of bowlers with a 7-wicket haul in ODI World Cups but also marked the first occurrence of such a feat in a knockout match.

Despite his outstanding contributions, there was a crucial moment when Shami dropped a catch, allowing New Zealand captain Kane Williamson to continue his aggressive play. Expressing regret over the incident, Shami stated, “I dropped Williamson’s catch, I shouldn’t have. I felt terrible.” This lapse occurred in the 29th over when Williamson and Daryl Mitchell were building a formidable partnership, keeping New Zealand’s hopes alive and leaving the Wankhede Stadium momentarily stunned.

However, Shami quickly made amends four overs later by dismissing both Williamson and Tom Latham in a single over. With this 7-wicket haul, Shami not only became the leading wicket-taker of the World Cup 2023, boasting an impressive tally of 23 wickets in just six matches, but also secured the distinction of being the first Indian men’s bowler to achieve a 7-wicket haul in an ODI match, surpassing Stuart Binny’s previous record of 6/4.

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Reflecting on his overall performance in the tournament, Shami commented, “I was waiting for my chances. I didn’t play a lot of white-ball cricket. My return started against New Zealand [in Dharamsala]. We talk a lot about variations, but I still believe in pitching it up and getting wickets with the new ball. The focus was to try and take pace off, see if they’re hitting it in the air.”

India’s victory in the semi-final secures their place in the ODI World Cup final for the first time since the 2011 World Cup, with the final scheduled for Sunday. Meanwhile, the second semi-final between Australia and South Africa is set to unfold on Thursday in Kolkata.