Bulawayo: Amit Mishra on Saturday had a ball at the Queens Sports Club as India completed a 5-0 sweep of the hosts, claiming the best bowling figures by an Indian against Zimbabwe in ODIs and equalling the record for most wickets in a bilateral series.
The 30-year-old legspinner took a career-best 6 for 48 in the final ODI to finish the series with 18 wickets at an average 11.61 per wicket, drawing level with Javagal Srinath's record for most wickets by an Indian bowler in a bilateral ODI series. Srinath took 18 in seven matches in New Zealand on the 2002-03 tour. Mishra did it in five.
In doing so, he went past Ajantha Mendis' record of 17 for the most wickets in a five-match series. The Sri Lankan spinner had scalped 17 in the 2008 Asia Cup.
When Mishra claimed the last wicket of Zimbabwe's innings, he also achieved the best bowling analysis by an Indian against them in ODIs. No India bowler had ever taken more than five - Irfan Pathan (5/27) and Sourav Ganguly (5/34) were the previous best - but when Zimbabwe's No. 11 Brian Vitori edged to slip Mishra had his sixth wicket.
Six-wickets hauls by Indian bowlers in ODIs
Anil Kumble - 6 for 12 v West Indies, Kolkata, 1993
Ashish Nehra - 6 for 23 v England, Durban, 2003
Murali Kartik - 6 for 27 v Australia, Mumbai, 2007
Ajit Agarkar - 6 for 42 v Australia, Melbourne, 2004
Amit Mishra - 6 for 48 v Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, 2013
Sreesanth - 6 for 55 v England, Indore, 2006
Ashish Nehra - 6 for 59 v Sri Lanka, Colombo, 2005
Mishra was a shoo-in for Man of the Match. "I feel good and I did a lot of hard work and everything paid off. The wicket helped me, they didn't pick my googly and that helped me a lot," he said after the game. "I just went for wickets. We have a long time to rest and hopefully I will get better."
Have your say: Do you think Amit Mishra deserves a longer run in ODIs?