Adam Zampa became the most successful Aussie spinner at one Cricket World Cup on Saturday after he claimed two wickets in Australia's win over Bangladesh. Zampa went into the match with 20 wickets for the tournament - the same amount that Shane Warne took at the 1999 World Cup.
Brad Hogg held the Aussie record with 21 scalps at the 2007 tournament, but Zampa went past both of them on Saturday. The leg-spinner took 2-32 as he dismissed Liton Das for 36 and Mushfiqur Rahim for 21.
'NOT SMART': Matthew Hayden rips Mitchell Starc over pre-game act
'NOT ALLOWED': David Warner in catch controversy at World Cup
His dismissal of Rahim gave him 22 wickets for the tournament and broke Hogg's 16-year record. The 31-year-old now has the chance to claim the most successful World Cup campaign by any spinner in history, with Muthiah Muralidaran's record of 23 wickets in 2007 just one away.
Zampa will have at least one more chance to break Murali's all-time record, with Australia set to take on South Africa in the semi-finals on Thursday. If they can get past the Proteas they will play the winner of India and New Zealand in the final next Sunday.
Most Wickets in a Single World Cup by Spinners
23 - Muthiah Muralidaran (2007)
22 - Adam Zampa (2023)*
21 - Brad Hogg (2007)
21 - Shahid Afridi (2011)
20 - Shane Warne (1999)
Zampa becames Most Wicket take by an Aussie spinner in a World Cup Edition.#AUSvsBAN
— CricBeat (@Cric_beat) November 11, 2023
Zampa has the most wickets of any bowler at this World Cup, one ahead of Sri Lanka's Dilshan Madushanka (21) and four clear of Gerald Coetzee of South Africa and Shaheen Shah Afridi of Pakistan (18 each). The next best Aussie bowler is Josh Hazlewood with 12.
Some of Zampa's other statistics are equally as impressive. His 22 wickets have come at an average of 18.90 and just 5.25 runs per over - a remarkable number for a spinner in white-ball cricket.
He has also gone past Warne and Hogg despite plating fewer games. Warne played 10 games for his 20 wickets in 1999, while Hogg featured in 11 games in 2007. Zampa's 22 wickets have come in just nine games.
Even more impressive is the fact that this World Cup hasn't really favoured spinners. India's pitches have long been considered spinner's wickets, but this World Cup has invariably favoured the quicker bowlers.
Zampa claimed man-of-the-match honours in Australia's win over England late last month, taking 3-21 with the ball and contributing 29 with the bat. "(That was) as satisfying as it feels after an ODI in terms of my 10 overs," Zampa said after the win over England.
"Bowling mainly to lefties, (Dawid) Malan, (Ben) Stokes, (Moeen) Ali, they're quality players. And to sit back, knowing that I went for 20 runs off 10 overs, my length control was as good as it's been."
Adam Zampa shining as Australia's lone specialist spinner
Zampa has been relishing the responsibility of being Australia's lone front-line spinner. Ashton Agar was ruled out of the World Cup on the eve of the tournament, and rather than replace him with a specialist spinner the Aussies have relied on part-timers Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head.
"Instead of thinking about it as responsibility I said, 'You (coaches) must think I'm pretty good if you think I can do the job by myself'," Zampa said previously. "I took it as a lot of confidence to be honest."
Maxwell's offies have been invaluable, and his scary form with the bat have the Aussies full of confidence heading into the semis. "Maxi, he loves bowling - and he loves the strategy that goes into it, probably like with his batting," assistant coach Daniel Vettori said.
"You see a bowler that's evolved over the last few years. In particular, he's been able to start to bowl over the wicket to right-handers, which sort of went out of fashion for a period of time, and it's his ability to almost get near-topspin, to challenge the stumps the whole time from both round and over the wicket. He's an extremely confident bowler because of all the work he puts in and how skilful and intelligent he is around his bowling."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.