Former India spinner and Test captain Anil Kumble created history, on this day (7 February), in 1999 when he picked up all ten wickets in an innings during the Delhi Test against Pakistan. Chasing 420 runs to win in the second innings of the Test at Feroz Shah Kotla, Pakistan were bundled out for a mere 207, losing the match by 212 runs, courtesy a dangerous spell from Kumble on the fourth day of the Test.
Pakistani openers Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi began well, putting up 101 runs for the first wicket. However, Kumble managed to pick up Afridi, with a widish leg spinner outside the off stump, asking the right-handed batsman to come forward and drive him through the covers. He ended up edging it to wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia. It was a typical Kumble leg-spinner — fast off the pitch. From thereon, he was unstoppable.
He followed up the wicket with another, bowling a sharp googly to next batsman Ijaz Ahmed, trapping him in front of the stumps. Four overs later, Inzamam-ul-Haq chopped on to his stumps, as he came early to play the ball, expecting a quicker one from Kumble. The Indian spinner outwit him in the loop this time around, flighting the ball around the off stump and bringing it into the batsman. Two balls later, in the same over, a quicker one brought the fall of Mohammad Yousuf.
The pitch had become difficult to bat against Kumble, who made good use of the bounce, variations and pace of the ball, to pick up all the remaining wickets himself.
After Kumble picked up his eighth and ninth wickets in the same over, Javagal Srinath was supposed to bowl the next over, and he bowled, in what Kumble remembers was an eight or nine-ball over as the Indian pacer did not want to pick up the last wicket even mistakenly. Kumble, in a chat with News18, said that that over was Srinath's worst over ever in Test cricket. It may actually be his worst over, but this was Srinath's way of making sure that his Karnataka teammate got his name etched in the history of the game.
Kumble did not disappoint the Indian fans, who were constantly telling the leggie that he would pick up all ten when he fielded at third man position during the Srinath over. Soon, he managed to produce an inside edge off Wasim Akram's bat and VVS Laxman took the catch at short leg. Kumble had picked up his tenth wicket in the innings, becoming only the second bowler in the history of the format to do so after Jim Laker.
"You don't go into the game thinking that you are going to pick up all ten. This was probably destiny playing its part. Divine intervention so to speak of helping me to get all those ten wickets," said Kumble, remembering the class act, 21 years ago.
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