Anil Kumble’s 10 wicket haul against Pakistan

Certain records in cricket are nearly impossible to break. One of such a record was made in the year 1956, Jim Laker made it to the record books by taking all the 10 wickets in a single inning. It was one amazing feat which people thought wouldn’t be repeated but one leg spinner replicated the same 43 years later. It wasn’t Shane Warne, his name was Anil Kumble. Let’s relive Anil Kumble’s famous 10 wicket haul now.

Anil Kumble’s 10 wicket haul feat happened against India’s arch-rivals, Pakistan in the 1999 Test series. Let us see how things played out in the match:

  • Build-up

The second Test was played in Delhi and the seats were filled with fans from both the countries. India was batting first on the dusty grounds of Delhi and as usual, Delhi’s pitch was suitable for spinners as Saqlain Mushtaq claimed a five-wicket haul to see India fold up for a total of 252. In reply, things turned out to be worse on that dusty track for Pakistan as the spin duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh made Pakistan fold up for a total of just 172.

Sadagopan Ramesh continued his good run with the bat after scoring 60 in the first innings and he repeated it with a fine 96 runs in the second inning. Sourav Ganguly supported him well and he was very resilient against the pacers. Even Javagal Srinath was just one run short of a very good half-century.

India ended up scoring a total of 339 leaving a massive target of 420 which was a daunting task for the opposition in the dusty ground of Delhi with spinners like Kumble in the opposition.

  • The unbelievable spell by Kumble (10 wicket haul)

Things started well for Pakistan as their openers- Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi kickstarted their innings well. They shared a hundred run stand for the first wicket. It was high time for Kumble to show the world his match-winning ability.

He immediately removed Shahid Afridi who had scored a fine 41 with a deadly top spinner which Afridi failed to read and he edged the ball to the keeper. In the next delivery, Kumble removed Ijaz Ahmed for a golden duck and this time he flighted the ball and the batsman was caught plumb in front. Kumble showed his wit and started to spin a web over the Pakistani batsmen. In the 29th over, Kumble came back to remove the dangerous Inzamam Ul Haq for a mere 6 runs once again in the match with a flatter one which didn’t spin at all. Inzy tried to go for a cover drive but ended up dragging the ball into the stumps. After 2 deliveries, Kumble struck once again, this time removing Mohammad Yousuf for a duck and then, a flat googly that forced Yousuf to block the ball but ended up caught plumb in front. Pakistan was reduced from 101/0 to 115/4 and it was all thanks to Anil Kumble.

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Kumble was dismantling the Pakistani batting order with an incredible spell of bowling. Later in a span of 12 runs, Kumble struck again with the wicket of Moin Khan with a flat delivery which forced Moin Khan into two minds whether to defend or leave it. He ended up giving a catch to the slips. Pakistan was in all sorts of trouble at 127/5. Kumble meanwhile had completed a fifer in that innings but the best was yet to come. In his next over, he removed the dangerous Saeed Anwar for 69. Pakistan was now 128/6 with Kumble striking all the wickets.

Kumble struck in the 55th over removing Salim Malik for just 15 runs off 59 balls. It was a fast top spinner and Malik tried to go over the top but he ended up losing his stumps. Kumble had taken a 7-wicket haul now. As he did so well throughout the game, he got the reward in a span of just 12 runs striking the wicket of Mushtaq Ahmed. Well, Pakistan’s game was nearly over now but hopes started to arise that Kumble may have the chance to rewrite the record books.

Saqlian Mushtaq became his next and 9th victim. Jumbo was just one wicket away from rewriting the history books. After that, we witnessed selflessness from Javagal Srinath.

Srinath bowled wides and no balls so that his teammate Kumble could have the perfect pie of 10 wickets to his credit. It looked like Srinath was trying to bowl deliveries so that these batsmen don’t lose their wicket so that Kumble himself could wrap things up.

Srinath helped his friend Kumble finish the match grandly. Wasim Akram was the final nail in the coffin and Kumble’s last and 10th victim, and a 10 wicket haul completed!

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Kumble’s final tally read: 26.3-9-74-10. India finally squared up the series 1-1 and it was well and truly because of Anil Kumble. Anil Kumble’s 10 wicket haul rewrote the record books big time. India won the match by 212 runs.

Fun fact: A man got to witness both the 10 wicket hauls: Richard Stokes. He was no umpire, player, or a match referee but a mere spectator. At the age of 10, his father took him to witness the 1956 Test between England and Australia. In that match, Jim Laker went onto pick 10 wickets in one inning. And later he came to India for a business trip in 1999. There he decided to watch the match between India and Pakistan. There again, Anil Kumble took 10 wickets in one innings to wrap up the Test match.

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Kumble with the ball with which he took the 10-wicket haul.


Featured Image:- Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India / GODL-India (

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