On this day: Former Indian Captain Anil Kumble scripted history by taking all 10 wickets in an inning

On February 7, 1999, exactly 23 years ago, Anil Kumble shattered Pakistan’s batting lineup by claiming all ten wickets in an innings.

In the historic match, India faced Pakistan in Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi. Pakistan was chasing a total of 420 runs for victory. Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar started Pakistan’s innings with a brilliant partnership of 101 runs, providing Pakistan a staggering start boosting the visitors’ hope.

Anil Kumble broke the partnership in the 25th over by dismissing Pakistan’s favorite cricketer Shahid Afridi for 41. Kumble returned Ijaz Ahmed to the pavilion for a golden duck and turned the match around on the next bowl. There was no stopping for the Indian’s phenomenal leg spinner from then on; Kumble kept on striking at regular intervals.

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The next victims of Kumble’s mystical spell were, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf, who lost their wicket in the space of two deliveries. Wasim Akram battled hard in the end but didn’t get any support from the other side; was the last man to be dismissed, with India winning the match by 212 runs and Anil Kumble entering the record books. Anil Kumble finished the game with an astonishing figure of 10 for 74 in 26.3 overs to script history by becoming the first Indian and only second cricketer overall to finish the innings with all the 10 wickets. 

BCCI shared the highlights of legend Anil Kumble’s ten wickets to refresh this memory and wrote on Twitter, “#OnThisDay in 1999 #TeamIndia spin legend @anilkumble1074 set the stage on fire became the first Indian to take all the ten wickets in a Test inning. Let’s relive that sensational performance.”

In the game’s history, only three cricketers have taken ten wickets in an innings and achieved this feat. England’s Jim Laker was the first cricketer to achieve this feat in 1956 against Australia in Manchester. Kumble was the second one to do so. New Zealand’s left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel became the third cricketer to do so last year against India. Interestingly all three bowlers who have achieved this staggering feat are spinners.

In an interview with India Today in 2015, Kumble revealed that in the tea break during the match, Kumble recalled his previous best matches where he took a seven-wicket haul and thought that this was his chance to better his previous best in Test. 

Harbhajan Singh, a part of India’s playing 11 in the historic Test, was unavailable to take any wicket in the final innings. Harbhajan tweeted about the same, razzing the leg spinner, saying humorously that Kumble was greedy and did not allow him to get any wickets on the deciding day of the Test match.