Cricinfo XI

Ten out of ten

Last Sunday Durham's Otis Gibson took all ten wickets in Hampshire's first innings, the 79th instance in first-class cricket. Here are some of the others

Martin Williamson

July 26, 2007

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Last Sunday Durham's Ottis Gibson took all ten wickets in Hampshire's first innings, the 79th instance in first-class cricket. Martin Williamson looks at some of the others



Hedley Verity: the perfect ten? © The Cricketer International
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Hedley Verity 10 for 10, Yorkshire v Notts, 1932
The perfect ten, and the second time Verity had done so at Headingley. In 1931, on his 26th birthday, he took 10 for 36 against Warwickshire, and a year later he bettered that with 10 for 10 in 19.4 overs, 16 of which were maidens. His haul included a hat-trick. He started with nine wicketless maidens either side of lunch on a wet wicket, but it was after the break when the sun came out he really got going. As the ball began to bite, Verity brought up a second slip and from 44 for 0 Nottinghamshire crumbled to 67 all out. In one purple patch of 15 deliveries Verity had taken 7 for 3, and all but one of his ten victims had a first-class hundred to his name. Oddly, on both occasions Verity took all ten he failed to hit the stumps, and both times his haul was made up of eight catches, a stumping and an lbw.

Alonzo Drake 10 for 35, Yorkshire v Somerset, 1914
By the time Yorkshire arrived at Weston-super-Mare in August 1914 most people's minds were on the impending war in Europe. Drake had taken 8 for 81 in the preceding match at Bristol, and on a wet wicket at Weston-super-Mare the bowlers dominated. Drake scored 54 when Yorkshire batted, and then bowled unchanged with Major Booth as Somerset were twice skittled for low scores. The pair shared the wickets in the first innings, but Drake took all the spoils in the second. In two matches he had taken 23 for 132, Booth 17 for 166. Both men played one more time before the season was brought to a premature conclusion. Neither was to play first-class cricket again.

Billy Bestwick 10 for 40, Derbyshire v Glamorgan, 1921
To get ten wickets is remarkable; to do so with a hangover more so. Bestwick liked his drink so much that the county assigned a minder to keep him on the straight and narrow, but he usually gave him the slip. On the rest day at Cardiff, Bestwick got so drunk he seemed unlikely to take the field. But he opened the attack, clean bowled seven batsmen, and polished things off with three wickets in four balls. One can only imagine how he celebrated.

Gubby Allen 10 for 40, Middlesex v Lancashire, 1929
The most remarkable ten-for in that Allen missed the start of the innings as he was not able to get away from work in time to be at Lord's for the start of the Championship match against the champions. His first spell was unremarkable - he took 1 for 18 - and after lunch he took a second wicket before being rested. He came on in the over before tea and that's when the fireworks started as he ripped through the innings, finishing things off with four wickets in five balls. His third spell was 11.3-3-13-7.

Albert Trott 10 for 42, Middlesex v Somerset, 1900
A brilliant allrounder - before drink got the better of him - Trott played Tests for both England and Australia. With the bat, he is best remembered as the only man to clear the pavilion at Lord's with a straight drive. With the ball he was equally devastating, most famously in his benefit match in 1907 when he took four wickets in four balls and followed with a hat-trick. So quickly did he wrap up the match that he lost a day's gate money and quipped, "I have bowled myself into the poor house." On a drying wicket at Taunton in 1900 he was at his best, needing no assistance from fielders for nine of the ten wickets he took, and his return would have been much better but for a last-wicket stand of 46 in Somerset's 89.



Jim Laker completes his ten-for as Len Maddocks is trapped lbw © The Cricketer International
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Jim Laker 10 for 53, England v Australia, 1956
Laker was the first man to take all ten in a Test, and that followed his 9 for 37 in the first innings on a pitch so dusty and tailormade that the Australians smelt a distinct rat. Laker's match figures of 19 for 90 are unsurpassed in first-class cricket. Even more remarkable is that this was the second time he had taken a ten-for in the season, and both times it was against the tourists. At The Oval in May he had returned 10 for 88 in Surrey's tour match against the Australians.

Bart King 10 for 53, Philadelphia v Ireland, 1909
The only American among the 79. King is generally regarded as the greatest of the pre-war cricketers in the USA and he undertook three successful tours of England. With cricket in Philadelphia before the Great War accorded first-class status, a number of overseas sides toured there and in 1909 he opened a two-match series against Ireland with a ten-for. In Ireland's four innings he took 25 for 151. In 1912 he was still good enough to take 12 wickets in a drawn two-match series against the full Australian side.

Arthur Mailey 10 for 66, Australians v Gloucestershire, 1921
Mailey was a legspinner who had no fear of being hit as long as he got wickets, although his 4 for 362 for New South Wales against Victoria in 1926 was stretching that principle to the limit. At Cheltenham in August 1921 his achievement in taking all ten gave him the title for his autobiography - 10 for 66 And All That. He had six second-innings wickets to his name overnight, and when play resumed after rain delayed the start on the third day he polished off the innings. The not-out batsman was Charlie Parker who three weeks earlier had himself taken 10 for 73 against Somerset, one of five times it happened that summer.

Anil Kumble 10 for 74, India v Pakistan, 1998-99
Kumble's achievement squared the two-match series, the only blemish being that is was kicked-off by an umpiring error. But thereafter Kumble was sublime. Probably the only man on the list who was still living with his mother at the time he made history, Kumble said: "It's a dream. Whenever I am leaving for a match my mum would say, 'Get a hat-trick'. Probably the next time, she will say, 'Get 10 wickets'." Richard Stokes, a businessman, had been in Delhi at the time and dropped in to watch Kumble's wizardry. As a schoolboy 42 years earlier, he had been at Old Trafford when Laker took all ten.



Anil Kumble celebrates on his way to 10 for 74 © Getty Images
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Tich Freeman 10 for 79, Kent v Lancashire, 1931
Although he only played 12 Tests for England, Freeman was a statistical colossus in the inter-war years. Between 1928 and 1935 he took 200 wickets in every season, including 304 in 1928. In that period he grabbed a phenomenal 2090 wickets. He is also one of only two men to take ten in an innings three times, this being the last instance - and twice Lancashire were on the receiving end.

John Wisden 10 for ?, North v South, 1850 Wisden's achievement is unique among the 79 instances of a bowler taking all ten in a first-class innings in that all of his victims were bowled. Only Eric Hollies, whose ten-for came in 1949, did not require the assistance of any team-mates as he bowled seven and had three trapped leg-before. Wisden's feat came while playing for North v South, a rather odd fact given that he was born in Brighton in Sussex.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo

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Martin Williamson Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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