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Ajaz Patel bags 10 wickets in an innings; joins Anil Kumble, Jim Laker in historic feat

Ajaz Patel (Image: ICC)

Mumbai, December 4: Ajaz Patel, the New Zealand left-arm spinner, made history on Saturday (December 4) as he became only the third spinner in the history of Test cricket to grab 10 wickets in an innings. The feat was achieved on the second day of the second Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium, in his ancestral town of Mumbai.

The other two in the most rare club are England off-spinner Jim Laker (10 for 53) against Australia in 1956 at Manchester and Anil Kumble (10 for 74) against Pakistan at Feroze Shah Kotla in 1999. Ajaz took 10 for 119 in 47.5 overs.

Mohammad Siraj was his 10th and history-making wicket as the Indian batsman holed out to Rachin Ravindra at long-on.

At the end of first day on Friday (December 3) Ajaz had scalped four Indian wickets. "This is what the dreams are made of, to be out here and go out there and pick up four wickets on the first day is pretty special," he said during a virtual media interaction.

"I'm really, really lucky to be sitting here with four wickets and I'm pretty happy to be in my hometown. At the Wankhede, it was pretty special for me."

Playing in India for the first time, the 33-year old, who had moved to New Zealand at the age of eight, turned it around for the visitors after a strong start by the Indian openers. Patel first dismissed Shubman Gill (44) to break a strong opening stand at 80 and then took the prized scalps of Cheteshwar Pujara (0) and virat Kohli (0) in the same over to rattle the Indian top-order.

"The job is only half done. We got to make sure we turn up tomorrow and fight hard for the remaining six wickets. It's quite evenly poised at the moment. It's a big day tomorrow."

"Yes definitely, there's assistance there for the spinners and we have got a bit more bounce than Kanpur. As a spinner, you want to bowl hard and put it in the right areas for a long period of time. It's about keeping the game plan simple and using the wicket as much as possible."

Patel's fourth victim was Kanpur Test centurion Shreyas Iyer as he dismissed him for 18 to break his 80-run partnership with Agarwal. "For me, it was really important that even though it was turning, I still had to make sure my line, angle and the ball position was correct," said the Kiwi star performer.

"From different angles, you got different levels of turn, some turned sharply and skidded on. I was looking to play around with that with the wicket being so responsive. It really challenged both sides of the edge.

"The reality of Test cricket is if you put the ball in good areas for a long period of time, you will see rewards back. It was my day today," And Ajaz made it an even greater day on Saturday.

It was stuff of dreams for Ajaz as there was some of his relatives and old friends too at the Wankhede to cheer him on.

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Story first published: Saturday, December 4, 2021, 13:25 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 4, 2021