On 7th February in 1999 Anil Kumble became the first Indian bowler – and only the second after Jim Laker in 1956 – to pick 10 wickets in a single innings of a Test match. Kumble achieved this feat against Pakistan at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, now known as Arun Jaitley Stadium.
It was the second and last Test of the series and the hosts needed a victory to draw the series. – India lost the first Test in the Chennai heartbreak where Sachin Tendulkar’s battling 136-run knock went in vain as Pakistan won by 12 runs.
Mohammad Azharuddin, the captain then, won the toss and elected to bat first. India couldn’t post a big total in the first innings as the legendary spinner, Saqlain Mushtaq bagged a fifer bowling India out for 252.
Pakistan, in reply, found it even harder to score runs against the Indian bowlers – Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble combined to take 7 opponent wickets – as Wasim Akram’s eleven was bundled for 172, handing India a crucial 80-run lead.
Half-centuries from Sadagoppan Ramesh and Sourav Ganguly lifted India’s second innings to the score of 339, giving the visitors a big target of 420 runs.
Anil Kumble run riot through Pakistan’s batting line-up
In the chase, Pakistan openers, Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi lit the hopes for an unimaginable victory with a stand of 101 runs. However, what happened next was unprecedented in Indian cricket’s history and only have been done once in Test cricket.
A moustached young leg-spinner, reaching the peak of his powers, ran through Pakistan’s batting line-up. Anil Kumble, who has picked a 6-for in Chennai, wasn’t a great turner of the ball, but with his accuracy of line and length and a great change of pace picked 619 Test wickets – the highest for India – and 337 ODI scalps.
The opener, Shahid Afridi and number 3 batsman, Ijaz Ahmed were dismissed on consecutive deliveries; while Kumble couldn’t take the hat-trick, he got rid of Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf 4 overs later.
8 overs later, wicket-keeper Moin Khan was back in the dressing room; an over later, Kumble got the big wicket of Saeed Anwar rocketing India’s winning chances. The tail was exposed – in quick time Saleem Malik, Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq were also dismissed.
With the wicket of Pakistan skipper, Wasim Akram, caught at short leg by VVS Laxman, Kumble completed his 10-wicket haul ensuing frenzy celebrations from the team and the crowd as India level the series with a memorable and historic record for the leg-spinner.
Watch Anil Kumble’s 10-wicket haul:
Watch that fantastic bowling display ?? pic.twitter.com/OvanaqP4nU
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 7, 2021