It was on February 7, 1999, exactly 19 years ago from Wednesday, when Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble etched his name in the record books by taking 10 wickets in an innings to take his side to victory in a Test match against Pakistan. Led by captain Wasim Akram, Pakistan were on a tour to India for a 2-match Test series. The visitors had taken a 1-0 lead in the series by winning the first Test. At Feroz Shah Kotla, in the second Test, India won the toss and elected to bat first, in a must-win match.
With spinner Saqlain Mushtaq being at his ultimate best, taking a five-wicket haul, India were bowled out for 252 in the first innings. But the spin duo of Kumble and Harbhajan Singh proved too much for the visitors and they were bowled out for 172, trailing the hosts by 80 runs. Kumble took 4 wickets in the first innings. But that was not enough for him.
India scored 339 runs in the second innings, setting a target of 420 runs for Pakistan to chase. Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi gave Pakistan a solid start and went on to stitch a 100-run partnership for the first wicket. But Kumble turned on the heat after he came into the attack, taking two wickets in the 25th over, dismissing Afridi and Ijaz Ahmed. He later went on to take 8 more wickets, becoming only the second bowler in the history to complete a 10-wicket haul in a single innings of Test cricket, only after England’s JC Laker, who took 10 wickets for 53 runs in an innings against Australia on July 26, 1956.
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On the back of Kumble’s spell of 10/74, India bowled out Pakistan for 207, winning the Test by 212 runs and levelling the series by 1-1.
Kumble is the leading wicket-taker for India in the longest format, taking 619 wickets in 132 Tests at an average of 29.65. He also took 337 wickets in the 50-overs format in 271 matches at an average of 30.89.
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