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McGrath's wicket ways reign

April 26, 2007
Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath became the leading wicket taker in a single World Cup after claiming three wickets in the semi-final against South Africa in St. Lucia on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old New South Wales bowler, who will retire at the end of the tournament, eclipsed Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas's record of 23 wickets, set at the 2003 tournament in South Africa, when he bagged the second of his three wickets as the defending beat the Proteas by seven wickets.

His 25 wickets at the ongoing tournament have come at an average of 13.04 runs each from 10 games.

He had figures of three for 14 in his first six overs as the Proteas were shot out for 149.

McGrath, who will play in his last ODI in the final, got the all-important wicket of South Africa's senior batsman Jacques Kallis, who was bowled trying to cut a delivery far too full for the shot in the sixth over of the innings.

Ashwell Prince followed in the next over, to McGrath, also caught behind, for a duck to yet another loose shot to a ball wide of the stumps and Mark Boucher was out next ball caught by Matthew Hayden at first slip.

At 27 for 5 in the 10th over, South Africa's challenge was effectively over. Though Justin Kemp's unbeaten 49 helped them save the blushes, it was hardly enough to stop the rampaging Aussies.

It was no surprise to see McGrath being named man of the match for the third time this tournament.

He has now taken 70 wickets in World Cups since 1996 and is 15 scalps ahead of former Pakistan pace ace Wasim Akram.

As Australia chase their fourth World Cup title, the veteran pacer must be hoping that Saturday’s final turns out to be a perfect ODI farewell for him. He retired from Test cricket after the recent Ashes triumph over England.

Photograph: Getty Images

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