When I was witness to two 'perfect 10s'

When I was witness to two 'perfect 10s'
© Provided by The Times of India

MUMBAI: Sport offers you the unique opportunity to proclaim loudly at times: ‘I was there.’ For example, in cricket, those who’ve witnessed a masterly 96 by Sunil Gavaskar on a turning track at Bangalore, or Sachin Tendulkar smashing a stroke-filled 98 against Pakistan at Centurion in the 2003 World Cup, or Brian Lara’s unbeaten 153 at Bridgetown in 1998, when he single-handedly downed a mighty Australia, or those who’ve seen India script a memorable fightback at the Eden Gardens in 2001 can say that.

As a cricket nut, I must thank two high-quality spinners who’ve given me my bragging rights to scream: ‘I was there.’ The moment Rachin Ravindra caught Mohammed Siraj at mid-on, and Ajaz Patel achieved his ‘perfect 10’ on Day 2 of the just-concluded India versus New Zealand Test at the Wankhede Stadium, I was ecstatic. Sitting in the press box while covering the match for the Times of India, I was part of something unique too. A ‘perfect 10’ has been achieved only thrice in 2438 Tests that have been played since 1877, and twice I was in the stadium to witness it live.

My mind raced back to the morning of February 7, 1999, and the memories of that day at the Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi, when leg spin great Anil Kumble destroyed Pakistan with a magical haul of 10 for 74, began to flow like water. Pakistan had won the first Test in thrilling fashion at Chennai by 12 runs despite Tendulkar’s fighting hundred.

With the idea of enjoying the fourth day’s play between India and Pakistan, my best friend and I decided to bunk college and head to the ‘Kotla’. While the security was tight, it was amusing to see a few snake charmers in the crowd, who had been summoned by the DDCA after political party Shiv Sena threatened to leave snakes on the ground if India played Pakistan at Kotla.

Resuming at 324 for seven, India folded up for 339, leaving Pakistan with 420 to get. An India win seemed within sniffing distance.

However, for the first 98 minutes, we were all silenced by Pakistan openers Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi, who raced away to a 101-run stand. Our lunch, I remember, wasn’t particularly pleasant. And then, Kumble happened.

The first to go was Shahid Afridi – the man who undid India at Chennai with a brilliant hundred was finally stopped by the ace leggie, caught by Mongia. Afridi didn’t seem happy with the decision, and walked off disgruntled. At last, we found something to cheer for. Within seconds, our joy was doubled as Ijaz Ahmed was trapped lbw for a first-ball duck. The procession had begun. Inzamam ul Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, names that evoked fear in our hearts, perished for little.

Within 27 runs, Pakistan lost six wickets, with Saeed Anwar, along with Afridi the scourge of India’s bowling in those days, also perishing to a rampaging Kumble, thriving on the bounce on the Kotla pitch for him, caught by VVS Laxman. Every batsman was either getting caught close to the wicket, being lbw or bowled by a rampaging Kumble. The noise-level in the stadium reached a crescendo. My view from behind the deep square leg boundary wasn’t great, but that didn’t matter, what with Tendulkar, fielding on our side of the fence, asking us to cheer for Kumble louder and louder.

In the end, we saw something else that was amusing too -to support his best friend Kumble bag all 10 wickets in an innings, India pacer Javagal Srinath was bowling wide outside the off-stump to last man Waqar Younis! The ‘tactic’ worked as Kumble dismissed Pakistan captain Wasim Akram to complete his rare, rare feat. India had won by 212 runs, but it was Kumble who had beaten everyone.

An elated Kumble and the Indian team went around the stadium, acknowledging the support of the crowd. If social media had arrived by then, it would have gone crazy. Aided by his magnificence, a crumbling pitch prepared for his art by curator Radhey Shyam, and a ‘trigger-happy’ umpire in AC Jayaprakash, Kumble had created history. As we walked off the ground, we didn’t mind the ‘rush hour’ or the pollution setting in. we had been witness to something special.

Almost 22 years later, I saw Ajaz’s 10 for 119 from a different seat in the stadium. Just like in the Pakistan’s case that day, India’s batsmen had no clue how to stop Ajaz, who, like most left-arm spinners do at Wankhede, reaped the rewards of flighting the ball well, and making it turn and jump menacingly. It’s futile to compare both the once-in-lifetime- performances. Kumble did it on Day 4, while Ajaz worked his magic on days 1 & 2 of the Test. Kumble’s spell won India the game, Ajaz’s effort couldn’t prevent a humiliating 372-run defeat for New Zealand.

I’m glad to think that amongst the few common things, besides the ‘perfect 10,’ in these monumental feats is me. I’m still pinching myself that I was there on both the occasions to see something as rare as a comet, in cricket. Well done, me!

News Related


Watch: This angle of Matthew Stafford's game-saving bomb to Cooper Kupp is incredible

© Provided by Rams Wire You’ve probably watched it 100 times already, but Matthew Stafford’s 44-yard bomb to Cooper Kupp in the final seconds of Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers ... Read more »

Yamaha FZS 25 launched in new colours, priced at Rs 1.43 lakh

2022 Yamaha FZS 25 Matte Copper and Matte Black Yamaha Motors has launched the MY2022 updates for its quarter-litre streetfighter bike in the form of new colour options. Available in ... Read more »

Centre Announces Padma Bhushan for Ex-Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, CPIM Veteran Won't Accept

© Provided by News18 Centre Announces Padma Bhushan for Ex-Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, CPIM Veteran Won’t Accept As the list of Padma awardees came out on Tuesday, one of the ... Read more »

Abhinav Shukla's cousin paralysed after getting beaten up; stripped naked, left to die; Bigg Boss 14 fame struggles to file an FIR

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Bigg Boss 14 fame Abhinav Shukla has revealed a shocking incident about his cousin getting brutally beaten up by some miscreants a month ago. He took ... Read more »

Republic Day 2022 EXCLUSIVE: Aarohi Patel aka Kashibai & Simran Kaur aka Niyati reveal their celebration plans

© Provided by Pinkvilla 26 January is celebrated as the republic day of India. It is a special day for all the Indians and many celebrities have opened up about ... Read more »

Mahesh Babu opens up on son Gautham's premature birth; reveals, ‘He was just as big as my palm'

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Mahesh Babu and Namrata Shirodkar got married in 2005 and are parents to two children – Gautham Ghattamaneni and Sitara Ghattamaneni. Talking about Gautham who was ... Read more »

49ers HC Kyle Shanahan shares injury updates on Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel

© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel There was cause for concern for the 49ers after their upset win over the Packers on Saturday. Left ... Read more »

College Football World Reacts To Disappointing Miami News

© Provided by The Spun Miami’s Gregory Rousseau wears the turnover chain. The “turnover chain” era appears to be over for the Miami Hurricanes. And no, we’re not kidding. Miami ... Read more »

NFL Network set to air special on innovation in player safety, including focus on helmets, turf testing, injury prevention

© Provided by Awful Announcing A NFL Network injury prevention special. There’s a lot of discussion about ways to reduce NFL injuries, and it’s interesting to see the NFL Network ... Read more »

Did Colts owner Jim Irsay take shot at Carson Wentz with tweet?

© Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz The Indianapolis Colts have not exactly expressed confidence in Carson Wentz since their disappointing end to the season, ... Read more »

Germany Announces 2022 Men's Olympic Roster

Germany has unveiled its 25-man roster that will head to Beijing to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics. © Provided by The Hockey News Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports With the ... Read more »

Can you Yandle another loss?

The most impressive streak in hockey continued on Monday night. No, it wasn’t Keith Yandle’s ironman streak reaching 964 to tie Doug Jarvis’ all-time record. It was the Philadelphia Flyers’ ... Read more »

Fifteen positive corona cases added in Beijing Olympics

Photo: ANP It is not yet possible to keep the corona virus out of Beijing, where the Winter Olympics start on February 4. The organization reported twelve new positive corona ... Read more »

Jonnu Smith led NFL in this category despite difficult 2021 season

© Provided by Patriots Wire In his first season with the New England Patriots, tight end Jonnu Smith struggled to find his role in the offense. He ended up recording ... Read more »

Afghanistan seal 3-0 sweep; Netherlands penalised for ball-tampering

© LPL File photo: Qais Ahmad combined with Rashid Khan to down Netherlands © LPL Afghanistan 254 for 5 (Najibullah 71, Hassan 50, Floyd 1-17) beat Netherlands 179 (Ackermann 81, ... Read more »

'Playing against India is...': Md Rizwan recalls Pakistan's historic triumph over Men in Blue in 2021 T20WC

© Provided by WION Babar Azam-led Pakistan were very impressive in the 2021 T20 World Cup, in the UAE. Being unbeaten enroute the semi-finals, the Men in Green couldn’t enter ... Read more »

Miami Football Has Reportedly Made A Notable Change

© Provided by The Spun Miami’s Gregory Rousseau wears the turnover chain. The Miami football team underwent a complete overhaul this offseason. The Hurricanes parted ways with head coach Manny ... Read more »

USC offers Tennessee transfer Chris Akporoghene

© Provided by Vols Wire USC and head coach Lincoln Riley have offered Tennessee transfer offensive lineman Chris Akporoghene. Akporoghene’s offer from the Trojans comes one day after he entered ... Read more »

Tom Brady discusses importance of his family while making retirement decision

© Provided by Patriots Wire Tom Brady is the most accomplished player in NFL history. The 44-year-old has poured everything he has into the game for the past two decades. ... Read more »

NFL World Reacts To Patrick Mahomes' Fiancee's Admission

© Provided by The Spun Gracie Hunt and Brittany Matthews at a game. Brittany Matthews, Patrick Mahomes‘ fiancée, is under the illusion she can live how she chooses without consequence. ... Read more »

Bruce Arians rips ref who flagged Tom Brady for unsportsmanlike conduct: 'Totally uncalled for'

Bruce Arians is throwing the challenge flag on Shawn Hochuli. A bloodied Tom Brady earned his first career unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the Buccaneers’ NFC divisional loss to the Rams ... Read more »

Gary Russell Jr unhappy with result as he claims to have 'out-boxed' Mark Magsayo

Gary Russell Jr does not agree with the decision that cost him his WBC featherweight title against Mark Magsayo last weekend. Nursing a minor arm injury against the aggressive Filipino, Russell ... Read more »

Jill Scott's relentless drive highlighted in Aston Villa loan switch

Jill Scott has insisted she still has more to achieve after joining Aston Villa on loan from Manchester City until the end of the 2021/22 season. © Provided by 90min ... Read more »

ISL 2021-22 Live Score and Updates, Mumbai City FC vs NorthEast United FC: MCFC 1-1 NEUFC

© Provided by News18 ISL 2021-22 Live Score and Updates, Mumbai City FC vs NorthEast United FC: Mumbai City FC got the lead from an Ahmed Jahouh penalty in the ... Read more »

Be mindful of language while criticising EC, Rijiju tells critics including judges

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interaction with BJP workers on Tuesday, lauded the Election Commission and the country’s electoral ... Read more »

I visit Maui every year and these are the 8 best places to stay if you're looking for pure paradise

© Mia A’i Shimabuku for Insider I visit Maui every year and these are the 8 best places to stay if you’re looking for pure paradise Each part of Maui ... Read more »

Republic Day 2022: Akshay Kumar owns the patriotic weekend with Airlift, Baby and more hits – view list with box office collections

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Akshay Kumar is one actor who has bossed the Republic Day weekend unlike any other. Bollywood no doubt has had a rich history of films patriotic ... Read more »

Throwback: When Yash and Radhika threw a carnival-themed party on daughter Ayra's 1st birthday

© Provided by Pinkvilla Ayra, daughter of KGF fame Yash turned three-year-old last December. The little Ayra keeps making a special appearance in the Instagram account of both dad Yash ... Read more »

Heerenveen rents Van Hooijdonk for the rest of the season from Bologna

Van Hooijdonk made his debut for NAC Breda at the age of 18 and played a total of 70 games for the club from Breda. Last season he was good ... Read more »

Batgirl: Ivory Aquino to play first trans character in DC's live-action film

© Provided by Pinkvilla The DC universe is ready for its first trans character! In history-making news, via Deadline, it was announced that the new DC movie, Batgirl, will have ... Read more »

BEST to induct 900 double-decker AC electric buses

© Provided by Hindustan Times The BEST had in December 2021 planned to procure 200 electric double-decker AC buses and subsequently added another 200 buses. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo) MUMBAI Passengers ... Read more »

Padma Bhushan for Former West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Surprises CPI(M)

© Provided by News18 Padma Bhushan for Former West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Surprises CPI(M) As the list of Padma awardees came out on Tuesday, one of the surprise names ... Read more »

Padma Awards 2022: Neeraj Chopra, Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella honoured - check full list

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi:  The Home Ministry on Tuesday (January 25) released the list of recipients of the Padma awards. This year 128 people will be conferred ... Read more »

US downhill skier Breezy Johnson withdraws from Beijing Olympics with knee injury

Team USA will be without top women’s downhill skier Breezy Johnson at next month’s Olympics, the gold contender announced on social media Tuesday. The 26-year-old racer crashed during training last ... Read more »

From Weak Nails to Hair Fall, Signs That Your Body Lacks Protein

© Provided by News18 From Weak Nails to Hair Fall, Signs That Your Body Lacks Protein Protein is one of the most essential nutrients our body needs. It helps in ... Read more »

Active Covid cases in Andhra Pradesh reach one lakh, 12 deaths in past 24 hours

© Provided by DNA The surge in Covid-19 cases continues in Andhra Pradesh while the active caseload in the state crossed one lakh mark on Tuesday. The state reported 13,819 ... Read more »

Punjab polls: BSP declares remaining six candidates, accuses other parties of pushing UP into jungle raj

© Provided by Firstpost Punjab polls: BSP declares remaining six candidates, accuses other parties of pushing UP into jungle raj The Bahujan Samaj Party on Tuesday released the names of ... Read more »

Three policemen, two firemen from Pune bag President's award

© Provided by Hindustan Times Three policemen from Pune city police and two of fire brigade officials, including the chief of Pune city fire brigade, have bagged various President’s award. ... Read more »

Surgery reportedly a 'real option' for Clippers All-Star Paul George

© Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George It’s been four years since the Los Angeles Clippers weren’t part of the NBA playoffs. During that season, seven-time ... Read more »

Coulthard says Hamilton will be 'bored' Abu Dhabi Grand Prix fall out

David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton will now be ‘bored’ of talk surrounding last month’s controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the Mercedes driver’s future remains uncertain. More than a month ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic