Delhi, India Today; India’s spin legend Anil Kumble entered the record books as he completed a perfect 10-wicket haul in an inning of a Test match against Pakistan to emulate English off-spinner Jim Laker on February 7, 1999. Laker had registered astonishing figures of 10 for 53 against Australia at the Old Trafford in Manchester in 1956.
India had lost the first Test of the two-match series at Chennai by a slim 12-run margin before the Delhi Test in 1999 with the Kargil war adding to the sporting drama.
India had set Pakistan a target of 420 runs in the match and the visitors got off to a steady start as openers Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar put on 101 runs for the first wicket. Kumble returned epoch-making figures of 10/74 in 26.3 overs to hand India a remarkable 212-run victory over arch-rivals Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in Delhi.
“A ‘Perfect Ten’ isn’t something you set out to achieve as a cricketer. I would attribute the events of 7th February 1999 to destiny,” Kumble had told the BCCI website in 2014. Later in an exclusive with India Today Mind Rocks 2015, Anil Kumble revealed what was going in his mind on that fateful day as he was nearing the landmark. “When I picked up my six wickets, I came back after the tea break – as I had Bowled continously from lunch to tea. At the break I sat down and thought to myself, here is a chance for me to better my previous best in Test, which was a seven-wicket haul. I went out again and then I took seven, and then eight and nine happened in two deliveries. that is when perhaps when it two deliveries. That is when perhaps when it dawnedon me and more on my teammates that I have chance to pick up all 10” Kumble said.