Bhubaneswar: Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel performed one of the rarest feats in cricket on Saturday when he single-handedly bowled out India in the second Test by bagging all 10 wickets in the first innings.
The degree of difficulty of such an achievement can be gauged from the fact that it has been done just three times in the history of Test cricket, England spinner Jim Laker and our very own leg-spinning great Anil Kumble being the others.
First-class cricket has seen ‘Perfect 10’ being registered a few times. A prominent member of that elite list is Odisha’s Debashish Mohanty.
It was in a Duleep Trophy match at Agartala in January 2001 that former Team India pace bowler Mohanty, playing for East Zone, returned dream figures of 19-5-46-10 against South Zone.
His victims included two of India’s batting legends Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
South Zone skipper Dravid won the toss on a greentop and decided to bat. But Dravid’s decision boomeranged as Mohanty ran through the star-studded South Zone team, which also included India pacers Jawagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, as well as prolific batsmen S Sriram and Vijay Bharadwaj.
Dravid, known as ‘The Wall’ for his compact defensive technique, failed to open his account in 15 balls before edging Mohanty to the wicketkeeper.
But Laxman’s wicket was the “most special one” for Mohanty. The stylish right-hander stuck around in difficult conditions to make 20 off 54 balls. But then Mohanty bamboozled him with a beauty.
“I bowled one (to Laxman) that angled in through the air onto a middle and leg line, hit the deck and seamed away towards off stump. Laxman tried to drive, played inside the line and was bowled,” Mohanty described on he had out-thought a skilful batsman.
Mohanty, who played 2 Tests and 45 ODIs for India, went on to capture 4 more wickets in the second innings to finish with a match haul of 14 for 91. His outstanding effort helped East Zone topple favourites South Zone by 4 wickets in a low-scoring match.
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