Ian Botham did a Betty Wilson against India in Mumbai and added a unique record to his name in 1980. 

In 1958, legendary Australian Betty Wilson achieved something which was not achieved by any male cricketers till then. In a test match against England played in the Junction Oval, Melbourne, she became the first player to score a century and take 10 wickets in a test match. It was an unbelievable performance as except Wilson no other batter crossed 26 and Wilson’s match figure was 11 for 16. Yes, it is not a typo as England scored only 35 all out and 76/8 in their two innings. In 1979, Enid Bakewell from England joined Betty as she achieved the same feat against West Indies Women’s team. Another England legend Ian Botham achieved this next year during the famous Jubilee test match in Mumbai. It was literally a one-man show and helped big time to grow the legend of Ian Botham.

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 The occasion was to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Board of Cricket Control in India and England was invited to play the one-off test match. The venue was Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and ex-cricketers like Mushtaq Ali was invited. 

The test match was played from 15th Feb to 19th Feb and England won the match by 10 wickets. In some respect, this was a surprising result. Before this test match, India was in a 15-match unbeaten streak whereas England was coming from a 3-0 thumping in the Ashes. That’s where Ian Botham’s contribution became so special.

Magic of Ian Botham

Winning the toss, India started strongly and reached 100 by losing only the wicket of Roger Binny, opening with Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar was unusually attacking in his approach and hit four boundaries and a six to reach 49. That’s when Botham got hold of Gavaskar and his companion Dilip Vengsarkar was gone soon. India never recovered. They lost wickets on regular intervals and the highest partnership between 4th to the 10th wicket was 26. India finished with 242 and Botham’s record was 6 wickets for 58 runs.

After the rest day on 16th, England were in early trouble in day two and was tottering at 58 for 5 as the top order was gone to Kapil, Ghavri, and Binny. It was on Botham and Bob Taylor to make the recovery for England and they fought hard. This is when another memorable incident happened.

Vishy, The Gentleman

Kapil Dev beat Taylor and an appeal for caught-behind was upheld by the umpire Hanumantha Rao. But Taylor was visibly upset and showed his disagreement. The Indian captain Gundappa Viswanath stepped up. For some reason, Viswanath was convinced that Taylor had not nicked it and he convinced the umpires to rule him not out. The crowd was amused and some of the Indian players were fuming.

The Spell Continued

England could have lost their 6th wicket at 85 but instead, the 6th wicket fell after a partnership of 171 runs. Botham played a pivotal inning. Some brilliant stroke making entertained the crowd thoroughly and he scored a 144 ball 114. After 6 wickets on day one, this was another special performance and he was not done yet. Taylor kept grinding even after Botham’s dismissal and finally was out to Kapil after a 275-minute 43. England finished with a lead of 54.

In India’s second innings Botham was even more lethal and along with John Lever ran through the Indian batting. The opening duo shared all ten wickets with Botham taking seven for 48. Only Kapil Dev provided some fight but India were eventually all out for just 149 runs. Botham’s match figure was 13 for 106. England chased the target of 96 easily and won by 10 wickets as the openers Gooch and Boycott got the required runs. But this will always be remembered as ‘Botham’s Test’.

Later two more modern all-rounders achieved this feat of the century and 10 wickets. One of them was Imran Khan of Pakistan and the latest entrant is Shakib Al Hasan from Bangladesh.

Also Read: On This Day – 18th Feb


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