The 46-year-old, who is currently the head coach of the Indian cricket team, rattled the entire Pakistan team in the last innings of the second test played at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi in 1999. After having set a target of 420 runs to win, Pakistan was cruising as the opening pair of Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar had put on 100 runs on board without much trouble. Things changed and how, as soon as Kumble was brought into the attack by skipper Mohammad Azharuddin.
The leg-spinner, who went on to take 619 wickets in his test career, was successful in getting his first victim in the form of Shahid Afridi who was caught behind by Mongia. While Afridi was not happy with the decision given by the umpire, he still had to walk away with a knock of 41 runs.
Afridi had probably just entered the dressing room, when Ijaz Ahmed, too, was sent back for a golden duck. In Ijaz’s defence, it was Kumble’s specialty to trick the batsmen with his quicker ones. Ironically, it was his defensive shot that led him down. The Pakistani run machine, Inzamam-ul-Haq, was Kumble’s next scalp. He was on six when he tried to open the face of the bat but ended up dragging the ball on to the stumps. Next, Yousuf Youhana was trapped right in front of the stumps by Kumble in the very next delivery. Another golden duck for the Pakistani team.
Bounce and turn and that was it. Moin Khan was caught in slips by Sourav Ganguly for a single digit score. The mainstay of the Pakistani innings, Saeed Anwar, was Kumble’s next scalp who was caught by Laxman at forward short-leg. A short quicker one, Saleem Malik tries to pull it, but misses it completely and his stumps are shattered. Kumble gets his seventh and the fall of wickets continue.
A test match without Rahul Dravid getting a catch at the slips is incomplete. Mushtaq Ahmed gets a delivery that bounces and turns and Dravid does the rest. Anil Kumble fires another quicker one and that’s the third golden duck of the innings, Saqlain Mushtaq is the ninth wicket to fall. Everyone in the team is backing Kumble to get the next one and he does.
The captain of the Pakistani team, Wasim Akram, is caught at forward short-leg by Laxman and the celebrations have begun. Kumble becomes the first Indian to take 10 wickets in an innings!
Owing to Kumble’s spell, India won the test match and the two match series was levelled 1-1. Not so surprisingly, he got the man of the match award, while Saqlain Mushtaq was awarded player of the series.
- (Video Courtesy: YouTube.com/Blacops Mahesh)