Watch – On this day in 1999, Anil Kumble pulled off the unthinkable against Pakistan
Not every day do you get to see a bowler walking away with a 10-wicket haul in an innings, irrespective of the format. In the shorter formats of the game, this still is a reverie. The closest one to the feat was Sri Lankan legend, Chaminda Vaas, who registered eight wickets against Zimbabwe in the year 2001. In Test cricket though, there have been three gentlemen who have managed to bag this herculean feat - Jim Laker, Anil Kumble and Ajaz Patel.
On this day in 1999, it was the Indian icon, Kumble who curled up Pakistan in a ball of despair with this humdinger feat of a tenner in an innings.
Batting first, India posted 252, thanks to valiant showdowns from Sadagoppan Ramesh and the captain back then, Mohammad Azharuddin. Saqlain Mushtaq was the pick of the Pakistani bowling lot with figures of 5/94.
Despite cameos from Shahid Afridi, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saleem Malik, the Indian bowlers were able to knock over Pakistan for a paltry 172. Anil Kumble bagged four crucial wickets in the first innings while he was aptly supported by Harbhajan Singh, who clinched three.
The Indian batting unit put up a better show in the second innings as they posted 339 on the board, eventually piling up a target of 420 runs, courtesy of that 81-run lead in the first innings. Ramesh blasted another 96 while he had support from Sourav Ganguly with a warring 62 while Javagal Srinath’s late flourish of 49 runs got the job done for India.
Saqlain Mushtaq had another fifer next to his name while Wasim Akram helped him too with figures of 3/43. India got off to a wrong footing while they started their defence as Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi were off to feisty starts.
The duo added 101 runs on the board before Anil Kumble finally drew first blood, claiming Afridi while following that up with the prized wicket of Ijaz Ahmed on the very next ball. The double whammy up front from Kumble pried open the floodgates and the Indian leggie was almost deluging through it, claiming one after the other.
He bundled out the visitors within just 36 overs, with Saqlain Mushtaq’s wicket being the final nail in the coffin. Saleem Malik and Wasim Akram did put up a fight but in front of Kumble’s rampaging leg spin, they blew up like a house of cards, bringing up the Indian spinner’s iconic feat. You can watch the video of Kumble’s 10-wicket haul here:
🗓️ #OnThisDay in 1999#TeamIndia spin legend @anilkumble1074 became the first Indian bowler & second overall to scalp all the 🔟 wickets in a Test innings 👏👏— BCCI (@BCCI) February 7, 2024
Recap all the ten dismissals here 🎥🔽pic.twitter.com/McqiXFjt8S