The phrase ``he single-handedly bowled his side to victory’’ is generally one that is blown out of proportion but there is no such exaggeration while describing a feat performed at the Ferozshah Kotla grounds in New Delhi on February 7 1999 – a day Kumble will remember for as long as he lives.
After all, he performed a feat accomplished only once before in 122 years of Test cricket involving nearly 1450 matches. The legendary England off spinner Jim Laker had taken all ten wickets against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956.
Now Kumble joined him at the top with a similarly astounding performance. Pakistan were left a victory target of 420 and openers Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi put on 101 runs. Kumble had so far bowled eight overs conceding 37 runs. Off the second ball of the ninth over he had Afridi caught behind by Nayan Mongia.
With his next delivery, he had Ijaz Ahmed leg before. Inzamam-ul-Haq averted the hat trick but played on off an inside edge in Kumble’s eleventh over. Two balls later Yousuf Youhana pushing forward was leg before.
Off the first ball of his 15th over, Moin Khan was caught low down in the slips by Sourav Ganguly and off the third ball of the 16th over Anwar was caught bat-pad by VVS Laxman at short leg. Pakistan had slumped to 128 for six and Kumble had taken six for 15 off 44 balls.