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Mahaboob Alam picked up all ten wickets in an innings in a limited-overs match on May 25, 2008. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at a spell that made its way to the Guinness Book of World Records.
“The earliest bowler to take all 10 wickets in an ICC international cricket match with limited overs was Mahaboob Alam for Nepal [ICC recognised match] against Mozambique in Jersey, UK, on 25 May 2008. The match was contested as part of the 2008 ICC World Cricket League Division V competition. The accomplishment has only happened professionally in two other instances, both in Test cricket with unlimited overs: once each by Jim Laker [UK] and Anil Kumble [(India].” — The Guinness Book of World Records.
Mahaboob was a left-arm seamer who had modelled himself on Wasim Akram, and would possibly never lock horns with the top teams: however, on that day at Grainville, St Saviour, Jersey, he etched his name permanently into the annals of the sport.
The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) honest attempts to groom lower-ranked teams had led to the ICC World Cricket League (WCL). In 2008 both Nepal and Mozambique were a part of Group A of Division Five along with Germany, United States of America (USA), Norway, and Vanuatu.
While Nepal had beaten Germany easily, Mozambique had lost to them. The first match between the teams at St Saviour had to be called off due to rain: Binod Das, the Nepal captain, and Basant Regmi had bowled out Mozambique for 70, but it poured down after a single ball of the Nepal innings, leading to a rematch at the same ground.
The Nepal innings
Mozambique captain Shoaib Younis (who shares his name with two fearsome speedsters) put Nepal into bat, and a tight opening spell from Aasif Koliya and Imtiyaz Lili left Nepal reeling at 30 for three. This brought Gyanendra Malla out to the centre to join Shakti Gauchan. Little did the Nepalese know that they had already outscored Mozambique’s future score.
Gauchan and Malla both batted defiantly, adding 73 for the fourth wicket. Then followed another 80-run partnership, this time between Malla and Paras Khadka before the latter fell for a quickfire 50-ball 44. Malla himself fell for a 101-ball 71, which was followed by some frantic running between the wickets between Mahaboob himself and Basant Regmi. Nepal finished on 238 for seven — a target that seemed well beyond Mozambique’s scope.
Imran Ismail lasted a full over before Mahaboob castled him. There was a leg-bye, following which Nadir Karim was bowled as well; five runs later Mahmood Sidat was trapped leg-before for a duck; and Zaniul Patel’s leg-before gave Mahaboob the chance of a hat-trick.
Jayesh Khorava, the wicketkeeper, saved the hat-trick, but managed to face five balls before falling leg-before the wicket himself; Kamran Qadir followed next, once again trapped in front of the stumps; then Mahaboob ended Kaleem Shah’s 41-ball vigil when he had him caught-behind by Mahesh Chhetri for nine.
Shoaib scored two and last 12 balls: other than him and Shah nobody lasted ten balls or scored a run (which means there were nine ducks in the innings). Mahaboob rounded things off by clean bowling Chandra Puspussen next ball after Shah, once again being on a hat-trick; four more balls saw the end of Koliya and Lili.
Mozambique lost their last four wickets without the addition of a single run, collapsing to a hopeless 19. Mahaboob’s final figures read 7.5-1-12-10.
- Nepal beat Norway and Vanuatu comfortably, but the match against USA was washed out. When the rematch was washed out as well, there was no option but to share points. Nepal topped Group A.
- Unfortunately, Nepal ran into Afghanistan in the semi-final; chasing 143 for a spot in the final they collapsed to 105 thanks to excellent opening spells from Dawlat Ahmadzai and Hasti Gul. Afghanistan beat Jersey in the final as well.
- Nepal finally managed to beat USA (by 96 runs, no less) in the third place play-off.
- Mozambique defeated Norway, while both their matches against Vanuatu were abandoned due to rain. They lost to Singapore in the fifth place play-off.
- Mahaboob was received a special award at the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum Player of the Year (NSJF PoY).
Nepal 238 for 7 in 50 overs (Gyanendra Malla 71, Paras Khadka 44; Aasif Koliya 3 for 49) beat Mozambique 19 in 14.5 overs (Mahaboob Alam 10 for 12) by 219 runs.
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