Cricket Classics

Kumble conquers Delhi again

Monday, August 11, 2021
Arun G
Sri Lanka in India 2005/06 | Delhi Test
When: 10th-14th December 2005
Where: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
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Kumble claimed another ten-wicket haul at his favourite venue
After rain forced a drab draw in the opening Test at Chennai, the Indians arrived at their fortress – Feroz Shah Kotla – for the second Test match of the series. The focus, as has always been, was on Sachin Tendulkar, who was one century away from breaking Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test hundreds.

The Indian captain won the toss and had no hesitation in opting to bat first. Local lad, Gautam Gambhir was out very early, and Rahul Dravid too departed in the first hour, but India recovered through VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar, who got the record that was lingering for five Test matches, out of the way. He scored 109, his 35th hundred in Test cricket, and guided India to a decent total of 290. It was Muttiah Muralidaran who did the bulk of the damage for the Sri Lankans – the wily off spinner, who had fifteen Test wickets in five matches in India, almost single handedly decimated the Indians and returned with figures of 7 for 100.

Sri Lanka started confidently through Avishka Gunawardene and Marvan Atapattu, but they lost way after Irfan Pathan struck two quick blows; he sent back Gunawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in consecutive overs. 


  • It was Rahul Dravid’s first series as regular captain
  • Tendulkar broke Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test hundreds
  • Irfan Pathan opened the innings for the first time in Test cricket
  • Kumble took his wickets tally at Delhi to 48 from five Test matches
  • Sri Lanka recovered through a partnership between Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene, who added 113 runs for the third wicket. 

    But Jayawardene’s dismissal at the hands of Anil Kumble opened the floodgates, and the Indians picked up the next seven wickets for 55 runs. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 230, handing India a 60-run lead. Kumble was the wrecker-in-chief in the Sri Lankan first innings, finishing with six wickets.

    Gambhir suffered a second failure in the match when India batted for a second time round, but Irfan Patan, who was promoted to open the innings, top scored for India as he made 93. The reshuffled Indian middle order, comprising Dravid, Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, all helped India to a total of 375, when the Indian captain Dravid declared his innings closed, leaving Sri Lanka a fourth innings target of 436 runs.

    © AFP
    Agarkar took two crucial wcikets in the second innings
    The Sri Lankans, in their second innings, managed to string together partnerships, but none really threatened to take the match away from the Indians. On a crumbling fourth and fifth day wicket, the Indian spin duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh combined to take seven wickets between them and lead India to a comfortable 188-run win.

    Kumble’s ten wickets in the match bagged him the Man of the Match award.

    Brief Scores | Scorecard | Videos

    India 290 all out (Tendulkar 109, Laxman 69, Muralitharan 7/100) & 375/6 declared (Pathan 93, Yuvraj Singh 77 not out, Dravid 53, Vaas 2/65) defeated Sri Lanka 230 all out (Atapattu 88, Jayawardene 60, Kumble 6/72, Irfan Pathan 3/34) & 247 all out (Atapattu 67, Jayawardene 67, Kumble 4/85, Harbhajan Singh 3/70, Agarkar 2/45)

    Man of the Match: Anil Kumble