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Wicket on the first ball of a World Cup? Challenge accepted!

To pick up a wicket with their very first delivery in a World Cup is a big achievement for any bowler. When a player is making his debut in a major tournament like a World Cup, the pressure is sky high on his shoulders. In such circumstances, to pick up a wicket early on comes as a huge morale booster. Here we list down three bowlers who have managed to accomplish this feat in their career.

Ian Harvey, 2003 World Cup

During the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, in the group stage match against Pakistan, Australian all-rounder Ian Harvey managed to pick up the wicket of set batsman Saleem Elahi. Batting first, Australia managed to post a big score of 310 on the board courtesy of a fantastic century by Andrew Symonds. Chasing the massive target down, Pakistan had a bad start, losing 3 wickets for only 50 runs. The partnership between Elahi and Mohammad Yousuf though gave them a glimmer of hope. But Harvey played the role of a partnership breaker, getting the scalp of Elahi who was caught by Brett Lee. Harvey ended with excellent figures of 4/58, which helped Australia to register an 82 run win.

Malachi Jones, 2007 World Cup

During the 2007 World Cup group stage match between India and Bermuda, pacer Malachi Jones picked the scalp of Robin Uthappa with his very first delivery. But his wicket turned out to be the only bright spot in the Bermudan bowling performance as a blistering century by Virender Sehwag and decent contributions by Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar allowed India to post a massive score of 413 on the board. 3 wickets each from Anil Kumble and Ajit Agarkar meant that Bermuda were skittled out for a paltry score of 156. This was the only victory for India in 2007 edition of the tournament as defeats against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh meant that they were knocked out after the first round itself.

Vijay Shankar, 2019 World Cup

Image Courtesy: BCCI

In the blockbuster clash between India and Pakistan at the 2019 World Cup, Rohit Sharma’s century and vital contributions from KL Rahul and Virat Kohli allowed the Men in Blue to post a big score of 336. During Pakistan’s run chase, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was in the middle of an excellent spell when he suffered a hamstring injury. Kumar then limped off the field, unable to complete his ongoing over.

Vijay Shankar then stepped up and got the crucial breakthrough for India, dismissing opener Imam-ul-Haq with his very first delivery. Pakistan then lost a lot of momentum in the innings and timely strikes by India meant that they never stood a serious chance in the game.

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