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Cricket World Cup History: 3 bowlers who have taken a wicket off their first ball in the tournament

India v Pakistan - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
India v Pakistan - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
Sachin Iyer
Modified 18 Jun 2019
Top 5 / Top 10

Taking a wicket with your first ball in a World Cup match is a sensational achievement for any bowler.

There's a lot of pressure when you are making your World Cup debut, and the stakes are higher than ever. To take a wicket right out of the gate in such circumstances requires tremendous composure, which is why so few have accomplished the feat.

Here, let us look at the three players who have taken a wicket off their first delivery in the World Cup.

#1 Ian Harvey (Australia) - against Pakistan in 2003 World Cup

Ian Harvey
Ian Harvey

During the group stage match between Australia and Pakistan, Ian Harvey took the wicket of a well-set Salim Elahi with his first ball of the World Cup.

Batting first, Australia scored 310 runs from 50 overs courtesy a brilliant century from Andrew Symonds. Coming to bat at No. 6, he scored 143 runs from 125 balls including 18 fours and 2 sixes.

Chasing 311 for victory, Pakistan lost 3 wickets before registering 50 runs on the board. Just when it seemed like Salim Elahi and Mohammad Yousuf were building a partnership, Ilahi nicked the first ball of Harvey straight into the hands of Brett Lee.

Australia went on to win the game by 82 runs and Harvey finished his spell with a magnificent 4/58.

#2 Malachi Jones (Bermuda) - against India in 2007 World Cup

Group B, Bermuda v India - Cricket World Cup 2007
Group B, Bermuda v India - Cricket World Cup 2007

During the group stage match between India and Bermuda in 2007, Malachi Jones (Bermuda) took the wicket of Robin Uthappa with his very first ball. However, this was the only moment of happiness for them as India went on to score a mammoth 413, with the help of a fine ton from Virender Sehwag (114 off 87-balls) and half-centuries from Sourav Ganguly (89 off 114 balls), Yuvraj Singh (83 off 46 balls) and Sachin Tendulkar (57 off 29 balls).

Anil Kumble and Ajit Agarkar took 3 wickets each and restricted Bermuda to a paltry 156. Even though India won the game by a record margin of 257 runs, they were knocked out of the tournament in the group stage itself, following their defeats against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

# 3 Vijay Shankar (India) - against Pakistan in 2019 World Cup

When India faced Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup, a magnificent century from Rohit Sharma (140 runs from 113 balls, 14*4, 3*6) helped India post a commendable 336 runs on the board. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar, while bowling his third over, suffered a hamstring injury and Vijay Shankar came on to complete the over.


The first ball that Shankar delivered saw Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq getting trapped in front of the wicket. In the rain-affected match, Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals and eventually fell short by 89 runs (DLS method).

Also read – Cricket World cup winners

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Published 17 Jun 2019, 17:57 IST
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