Earthquake Had Shaken Delhi After Anil Kumble's 10 Wickets Rattled Pakistan 18 Years Ago
Anil Kumble's 10 for 74 against Pakistan on February 7, 1999 was a landmark in annals of cricket. What is more remarkable is that a minor earthquake had hit Delhi on that day as well.
Anil Kumble's 10 for 74 against Pakistan at the Ferozshah Kotla was a remarkable achievement, by any account. It was only the second time in the history of Test cricket that a bowler had claimed all ten wickets in an innings. The only other instance of such a feat was in England in 1956, when off-spinner Jim Laker took 10 wickets in an innings against Australia at Old Trafford. But what was more remarkable about Kumble's effort was the coincidence of an earthquake rattling Delhi on that day, as it did on February 7 this year, exactly 18 years later.
India were in none too happy a position after opting to bat first. A score of 252 in the first innings thanks mainly to a 67 from skipper Mohammed Azharuddin and 60 by opener Sadagoppan Ramesh. Saqlain Mushtaq was in his elements for Pakistan, taking five wickets.
But the visitors collapsed for 172 in the first innings, facing a sustained attack from Kumble (4 for 75) and Harbhajan Singh (3 for 30).
India scored 332 in the second innings, with Ramesh (96), Sourav Ganguly (62) and Javagal Srinath (49) adding to the kitty. Saqlain remarkably had another five-for, which gave him the Man of the Series title.
Then came the second innings for Pakistan and history was made.
Chasing a target of 412, Pakistan were in a very tough situation, since they had to bat out nearly two days. But even they wouldn't have envisaged what was to come.
A 101-run opening stand between Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi saw Pakistan looking solid, before Kumble removed Afridi and Ijaz Ahmed off consecutive deliveries.
Pakistan tumbled from 101 for no loss to 115 for 4 and never recovered. It was such an assault by Kumble that towards the end of the innings, Srinath opted to bowl wide of the stumps as the entire side wanted Kumble to get all ten.
Then history was created. Wasim Akram inside-edged Kumble to VVS Laxman at bat-pad and the leg-spinner had made history.
Soon after that, as the nation celebrated the feat, came the earthquake, ratting everyone including this correspondent, stuck on the top floor of the pretty unsteady Kotla main building. History had been created.