Arguably the “biggest” match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was played between India and Pakistan on Sunday at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester. India proved to be the victor as they beat Pakistan by 89 runs. Although it was India’s centurion Rohit Sharma who was adjudged the Player of the Match, it was Vijay Shankar who entered the record books.
Vijay picked up a wicket in his very first ball against Pakistan. With this, Shankar became the first Indian to pick up a wicket in his first ball in World Cup history.
Shankar picked up the wicket in Bhuvi’s over
Notably, Vijay Shankar’s commendable achievement came in an over which wasn’t supposed to be bowled by him. In fact, it was Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar who had started bowling the over.
However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar sustained a hamstring injury midway through the over and Shankar was called to complete his over. It was then that Shankar picked up the wicket in his first ball of World Cup.
Left-handed Imam ul Haq who was at the striker’s end missed a straight ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and was given out Leg before Wicket. With this, Shankar entered the record books.
Only three bowlers have achieved this feat
In World Cup history, only three bowlers have managed to pick up a wicket in their first ball of World Cup. Before Vijay Shankar, Australia’s Ian Harvey and Bermuda’s Malachi Jones were the record holders.
Harvey registered this record against Pakistan in ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, while Jones joined him in 2007 edition of the tournament against India.
Jones picked up the wicket of Indian opener Robin Uthappa to enter this rare list. It is worth noting that Dwayne Leverock’s catch to dismiss Uthappa off Leverock’s bowling is widely regarded as one of the best catches of the tournament.
Shankar picked up two wickets in the game. The Indian all-rounder’s World Cup debut was splendid. Shankar bowled 5.2 overs and picked up two important wickets to change the course of the match. During this process, he gave away 22 runs. With the bat, Shankar was unbeaten on 15 in 15 balls.