ANI Photo | “I was waiting for my chances”: Mohammed Shami after heroic performance against NZ in semis

India’s star pacer Mohammed Shami was overjoyed after his match-winning seven-wicket haul against New Zealand in the World Cup 2023 semifinal in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Shami, who won the Player of the Match award for derailing New Zealand’s pursuit, said he had been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.
Kohli’s ‘Virat’ show at the Wankhede Stadium followed by Shami’s lethal 7-wicket haul powered India to the final of ICC World Cup 2023, beating New Zealand by 70 runs in a mouth-watering semifinal clash on Wednesday.
Daryl Mitchell’s vigilant knock of 134 runs came up short against Shami’s lethal spell as the India pacer led India’s effort in the field to help the hosts seal a place in Sunday’s final.
“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 of variations, but I still believe in pitching it up and getting wickets with the new ball,” Shami said in a post-match presentation.
Shami dropped in-form New Zealand captain Kane Williamson’s catch, which could have been a major talking point, but he quickly returned and sent the Kiwi skipper packing.
“I dropped Williamson’s catch, I shouldn’t have. I felt terrible. But the focus was to try and take pace off, see if they’re hitting it in the air. It was a chance we had to take [with the variations]. The wicket was very good, lots of runs were scored in the afternoon. There was some fear of dew, the grass had been shaved off from the wicket. If dew was there, it skids on and there’s a chance runs could’ve been made. It feels amazing [this kind of performance]. Last two World Cups, we lost [in the semifinals]. Who knows when or if we’ll get a chance, so we wanted to do everything for this, one chance we didn’t want to let go,” he added.
Shami also made history as he registered the best wickets by an Indian bowler in World Cup history. Shami finished with supreme figures of 7/57, making him the tournament’s highest wicket-taker, with 24 from six games at a breathtaking average of 9.13. (ANI)

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