India won a massive victory, their first over Pakistan since 1979-80, to draw the series. But the headlines belonged to leg-spinner Anil Kumble. He claimed all ten wickets in Pakistan's second innings, becoming only the second man in history to take ten in a Test innings, following English off-spinner Jim Laker in 1956. Kumble's match figures of 14 for 149 were the third best by an Indian in Tests.
Kumble had bowled six overs without taking a wicket on the fourth morning, mostly from the Football Stand End. Pakistan had little hope of winning after being set a formidable target of 420, but needed only a draw to take the series, and had seemed well placed at 101 without loss. After lunch, Kumble operated from the Pavilion End: he bowled 20.3 overs and claimed ten for 47, aided by some brilliant fielding and a substandard pitch - hastily repaired after the fundamentalists' vandalism a month earlier. Pakistan were all out for 207.
Kumble started the slide when Shahid Afridi was given out caught behind dabbing outside off stump. Afridi lingered in protest at the decision by home umpire Jayaprakash, whose performance was much condemned by Pakistani observers. With his next ball, Kumble had Ijaz Ahmed lbw as he stretched forward. Inzamam-ul-Haq averted the hat-trick, but played on off an inside edge minutes later. Yousuf Youhana, pushing forward, was lbw; Moin Khan was caught low down in the slips; and Saeed Anwar, who had defended for two and a half hours, was caught bat and pad at short leg. Pakistan had slumped to 128 for six, and Kumble had taken six for 15 in 44 balls. "That was the moment when I thought all ten could be mine," he said afterwards.
But he had to wait until after tea for No. 7, as Salim Malik and Wasim Akram held firm in a stand of 58. Then Kumble resumed the demolition. He bowled Malik, trying to pull; Mushtaq Ahmed was caught at gully off an awkward bounce; and the next ball hit Saqlain Mushtaq on the toe and trapped him lbw. That ended Kumble's 26th over, with one wicket remaining. Azharuddin privately instructed Srinath to bowl a wayward line in his next over. Wasim, who had resisted for an hour and a half, then kept out the hat-trick ball, and the next one, but top-edged Kumble's third ball to Laxman at short leg.
Kumble was carried back to the pavilion on his colleagues' shoulders as the crowd rejoiced. "My first reaction is that we have won," he said. "No one dreams of taking ten wickets in an innings, because you can't. The pitch was of variable bounce, and cutting and pulling was not easy. All I had to do was pitch in the right area, mix up my pace and spin, and trap the batsmen. The first wicket was the hardest to get - the openers were cruising." He added that the match award should have gone to a batsman in those conditions.
Back on the opening day, India had claimed first use of the suspect pitch. They scored 252, but would have done even more modestly except for four dropped catches, all off the spinners. Three of those who escaped - Kumble was the other - were the highest scorers of the innings. Pakistan's reply reached only 172, with Kumble first starting to enjoy bowling on this pitch. However, India stretched their lead handsomely. Their second innings was founded on a fine 96 by Ramesh, who batted four and a half hours in only his fourth Test innings before giving Mushtaq Ahmed a return catch. Wasim made history for Pakistan when he trapped Mongia, his 363rd wicket in 85 Tests, passing Imran Khan's record of 362 wickets in 88 tests. But Ganguly and Srinath put on 100 for the eighth wicket, setting up a lead of 419 before Saqlain finished things off - taking ten in a match for the second Test running.
The rest was history, for Kumble, and for Richard Stokes, a 53-year-old English businessman. As a schoolboy, he had seen Jim Laker take some of his ten wickets at Old Trafford in 1956, and he arrived at Feroz Shah Kotla - on his birthday - just in time to see Kumble repeat the feat.
Man of the Match: A. Kumble.
Man of the Series: Saqlain Mushtaq.
Man of the Series: Saqlain Mushtaq.
Close of play: First day, India 247-8 (Mongia 9*); Second day, India 46-1 (Ramesh 22*, Dravid 6*); Third day, India 324-7 (Ganguly 58*, Srinath 44*).