Remembering Anil Kumble’s ‘perfect 10’ performance against Pakistan
Anil Kumble became the second bowler after Jim Laker in the history of cricket to claim 10 wickets in a Test innings on this day in 1999, achieving this feat against Pakistan at the Ferozshah Kotla in New Delhi.Updated: Feb 07, 2018 15:17 IST
February 7 marks the anniversary of former Indian cricket team captain Anil Kumble’s perfect 10. On this day in the spring of 1999, Kumble wreaked havoc dismissing the entire Pakistan cricket team on his own in the fourth innings of the Delhi Test.
His mind-boggling bowling figures read 26.3-9-74-10 and he joined former English spinner Jim Laker as the only bowlers to have taken a ten-for in an innings of a Test match in cricket history.
It was the second match of a two-Test series between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. Pakistan had won the first Test in Chennai, a game which is best remembered for Sachin Tendulkar’s marathon 136. Going into the second game, the pressure was on the hosts as anything except a victory would have handed a series victory to the visitors.
Mohammad Azharuddin-led India had an average first innings as they slipped from 113-1 to 252 all out with Saqlain Mushtaq claiming a five-for.
Kumble then led Indian fightback scalping a four-for as Pakistan were rolled over for only 172 in their first innings. Half-centuries from Sadagoppan Ramesh and Sourav Ganguly took India to 339 in their second innings as Pakistan received a mammoth target of 420 runs in the fourth innings of the match.
HOW IT ALL TRANSPIRED
Daunting as the target was, Pakistan openers Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi came out all guns blazing and put on a 101-run stand in no time to create panic in Indian camp. However, it all changed when Kumble struck for the first time in this innings getting Afridi caught behind the wicket.
From there on, Kumble was all over Pakistan as he claimed a wicket after wicket to get close to the historic feat. He broke the back of Pakistan batting by dismissing Ijaz Ahmed, Inzamam-Ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf in a span of five overs. None of the Pakistan batsmen had any clue facing ‘Jumbo’ as he moved closer towards achieving the historic feat.
As Kumble was only a wicket away from claiming a ten-for, Javagal Srinath started bowling way outside off stump in a visible attempt to ensure his Karnataka teammate and friend was not denied the opportunity.
The moment finally arrived on the third ball of the 61st over in the Pakistan second innings when opposition skipper Wasim Akram gloved one from him straight to VVS Laxman at forward short leg, sending everyone present at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium into raptures.
As many as 19 years have passed since then, but memories of Kumble’s perfect 10 still remain etched in the memories of cricket fans from the country.