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'Perfect Ten' was destiny: Anil Kumble on 10-wicket haul against Pakistan

New Delhi, Feb 7: Legendary India spinner Anil Kumble is celebrating his eighteenth anniversary of taking 'Perfect Ten' against Pakistan on February 7, 1999.

With 10/74 in 26.3 overs, Kumble became only the second bowler in the history of Test cricket, after England's Jim Laker, to bag a 'Perfect Ten'.

'Perfect Ten' was destiny: Anil Kumble on 10-wicket haul against Pakistan

'The Jumbo' helped India register a remarkable 212-run win against arch-rivals Pakistan at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla.

Reminiscing the chain of the events of that historic day, Kumble - India's most successful bowler in Tests - termed it destiny.

"A 'Perfect Ten' isn't something you set out to achieve as a cricketer. I would attribute the events of 7th February 1999 to destiny," he told the BCCI website three years back.

Recounting the final innings of the match Kumble felt he and his team were determined to maintain their impressive record at home after going down in the first Test at Chennai by a narrow margin.

Pakistan required 420 runs to win with almost two days to spare on a wicket that was deteriorating quickly. To add up to the hosts' woes, Pakistan's opening combination of Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi gave them a decent start.

"Although the target was still a tall order, the onus was on us to break the partnership. I knew I had to raise my game. There was something that told us that it was a matter of taking one wicket. A new batsman would find it very difficult to get going on that strip, and we sensed that one scalp would put the cat among the pigeons.

"Sachin (Tendulkar) did his bit to turn things around. He started handing my cap and sweater to the umpire at the start of an over, in an attempt to 'bring me luck.' He wasn't doing that all the time, but it so happened that whenever he did that, a wicket fell! The floodgates opened with Afridi's dismissal. I wanted to keep him as quiet as possible," recalled Kumble.

Kumble revealed that he never thought of achieving the 10-wicket-haul, all he eyed at start of the game was bettering his previous record of 7/49. It was only after grabbing eight wickets when Kumble and the teammates strategised to grab all ten.

"I will never forget how my team-mates rallied around me. Javagal Srinath was bowling at the other end when the ninth wicket fell. He bowled wide of the stumps. Obviously, he wasn't bowling to take a wicket! Waqar Younis, the last man, went for a heave in that over, and skied the ball in the long-leg region. I don't think Sadagoppan Ramesh, or for that matter, any fielder in the history of the sport, would have been shouted at by his team-mates not to catch the ball, when they were fancying their chances of going for it! 'Sri' was among those who shouted the loudest!", he added further.

Kumble also thanked his team mates rallied around him. He concluded it by terming 'it a great day, a memorable day'.

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Story first published: Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 13:01 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 7, 2017
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