On February 7, 1999, the Indian spin legend, Anil Kumble almost ran through the Pakistan batsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla, now known as the Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium. During the second Test of the two-match series, he went on to scalp all the 10 wickets and became only the second bowler in the history of Test cricket with England’s Jim Laker being the first bowler to claim all wickets in an innings. India had lost the first Test in Chennai by a small margin of 12 runs and was in a must-win situation in the Delhi Test in 1999.
India came out with an exceptional bowling performance in the first innings as they bundled out Pakistan for a meager total of 172 runs after scoring 252 runs in the first innings. In the second innings, Sadgopan Ramesh (96) and Sourav Ganguly (62*) scored gritty half-centuries as India posted a target for 420 for Pakistan.
During the chase, the visitors started slowly as their openers Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar added 101 runs until Kumble was introduced into the attack and wreaked havoc on the Pakistani batting line-up. The leg-spinner first dismissed Afridi (41) in the 25th over. After that, India didn’t give any breathing space and kept on taking wickets through Kumble and Pakistan was reduced to 128/6 in no time.
Kumble, fondly known as ‘Jumbo’, kept on dismissing the batsmen at regular intervals and it was in the 61st over that he entered history books by dismissing Wasim Akram. He finished with exceptional figures of 10/74 from 26.3 overs and helped India register a famous win by 212 runs.
Talking about the match, Kumble said, “A ‘Perfect 10’ isn’t something you set out to achieve as a cricketer. I would attribute the events of 7th February 1999 to destiny.”
The leg-spinner, after representing India in 132 Tests and scalping 619 wickets which included 35 five-wickets hauls, announced his retirement from international cricket in 2008. Kumble is third in the list of highest wicket takers in Test cricket behind Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Australia’s Shane Warne (708).