Adam Zampa equals Murali record with epic slice of history in Cricket World Cup final

The leg-spinner wrote his name into the records books as Australia won a sixth World Cup trophy in men's ODIs.

Adam Zampa.
Adam Zampa equalled Muttiah Muralitharan's record for the most wickets by a spinner at a Cricket World Cup. Image: Getty

Adam Zampa's World Cup campaign was officially the equal-best by a spinner in history, after the Aussie snared his 23rd scalp of the tournament in the final. The leggie had already surpassed Shane Warne and Brad Hogg to become the most successful Aussie spinner at a single men's World Cup, and came into the final trailing Muttiah Muralitharan's all-time record of 23 by just one.

After an underwhelming performance in the semi-final against South Africa, Zampa got back to his brilliant best with 1-44 off 10 overs against India. When the leggie trapped Jasprit Bumrah lbw for the eighth wicket of the innings, Zampa had his 23rd dismissal of the tournament.

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It gave him the equal-most by a spinner at one World Cup, matching the record set by Murali in 2007. Zampa finished second by Mohammad Shami for most wickets by all bowlers after the Indian snared two Aussie scalps in the final to finish with 24.

Hogg previously held the Aussie record after taking 21 wickets in 2007, while Warne's best effort was 20 at the 1999 tournament. Zampa's 23 wickets came at an average of 22.39 and an economy rate of 5.36.

The 31-year-old finished with the second-most four-wicket hauls (three) throughout the tournament (behind Shami), and was named man of the match in Australia's win over England. "(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, pictured here after dismissing Jasprit Bumrah in the Cricket World Cup final.
Adam Zampa celebrates the wicket of Jasprit Bumrah in the Cricket World Cup final. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Zampa's historic campaign came after he was selected as the only specialist spinner in Australia's World Cup squad. Ashton Agar was set to be included in the squad before a late injury, with selectors putting all their faith in Zampa.

"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."

Adam Zampa helps Australia win Cricket World Cup

The Aussies leant heavily on the part-time spin of Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head, which ended up being a masterstroke. Head took two key wickets in the semi-final against South Africa, while Maxwell was one of the most economical bowlers of the tournament and snared the huge scalp of Rohit Sharma in the final.

"Maxi, he loves bowling - and he loves the strategy that goes into it, probably like with his batting," assistant coach Daniel Vettori said before the final. "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."

Adam Zampa, pictured here with the Cricket World Cup trophy.
Adam Zampa celebrates with the Cricket World Cup trophy. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Zampa's heroics helped Australia win their sixth trophy at a men's ODI World Cup. After limiting India to just 240 while batting first, the Aussies overcame an early batting stumble to win by six wickets with seven overs to spare.

After taking a sensational catch to dismiss Sharma, Head backed it up with an extraordinary knock of 137 off 120 balls. Marnus Labuschagne combined with Head for a 192-run partnership, making a measured 58 off 110 balls after the Aussies had fallen to 3-47 early.

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