Ottis Gibson recalls his 10-wicket haul for Durham against Shane Warne’s Hampshire

FIFTEEN years ago this month, Ottis Gibson joined an exclusive club.

The Yorkshire head coach became one of the select few to have taken 10 wickets in an innings in first-class cricket, returning 10-47 for Durham against Hampshire in Chester-le-Street.

It remains the last time that anyone has achieved the feat in England, and it was only the 79th occasion anywhere in the world.

Since then, there have been a sprinkling of occurrences around the globe, most notably when Ajaz Patel, the New Zealand left-arm spinner, who played two County Championship matches for Yorkshire in 2019, took 
10-119 against India in Mumbai last December – itself only the third instance in Test history after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble.

Year to remember: Durham's Ottis Gibson with his man of the match award following the Friends Provident Trophy Final at Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London in 2007, the summer he also took a 10-for (Picture: PA)

But ten-wicket hauls are rarer than hen’s teeth. What Gibson achieved was something very special.

“I felt like I was 16 again,” he said in the aftermath of his triumph, a 38-year-old who felt like a teenager once more.

“I still sit at home dreaming up scenarios that make me look like a hero, like getting ten-for, getting the last wicket in a World Cup final, it was a bit like that.

“You never imagine you’re going to get all ten wickets and then as time goes on you realise, ‘Actually, it could happen.’”

Present day - Ottis Gibson as Yorkshire's coach (Picture: SWpix.com)

The realisation dawned slowly on Gibson that he was in line to make history at the Riverside ground.

Not since swing bowler Richard Johnson’s 10-45 for Middlesex against Derbyshire at Derby in 1994 had anyone captured 10 wickets in a first-class innings in England – the first occurrence on these shores since seamer Ian Thomson’s 10-49 for Sussex against Warwickshire at Worthing in 1964.

As Hampshire responded to Durham’s first innings total of 252, Gibson went into lunch on day three with figures of 5-31, which had become 8-47 when rain forced an interruption with Hampshire 111-8.

“I hadn’t started thinking about a ten-for but all the lads started talking about it in the breaks,” said Gibson at the time. “Seven (wickets) was my previous best, so when I got eight I was chuffed.”

Gibson continued: “The gods were on my side because every time I looked like I was getting tired we had a break. I wasn’t going to bowl after lunch but the captain (Dale Benkenstein) said, ‘You’re not going to get another opportunity (for 10 wickets), certainly not at your age!

“I bowled three or four overs and I said if nothing happens, (Liam) Plunkett could bowl.

“But when you get a wicket, you always say, ‘One more’. When the rain came, I was about to come off again.”

Once it subsided, Gibson wrapped things up in double-quick time and was mobbed by team-mates. Five of his victims were caught off edges (four by wicketkeeper Phil Mustard), two were lbw, two bowled and one caught-and-bowled.

Afterwards, Gibson got the match ball signed by his seventh victim – a certain Shane Warne.

“I’ve been around long enough to know that, next week, I might not take any wickets,” Gibson told reporters, “so I still won’t look much further than tomorrow.

“It couldn’t have worked out better for me because both times I started to feel tired I got a break, first for lunch, then with the rain.”

The match was drawn, Hampshire holding out with nine wickets down in their second innings as opener Michael Brown carried his bat for the second time in the match.

It was a tremendous season for Gibson and for Durham too; he was the Professional Cricketers’ Association Player of the Year, on the back of 80 wickets in the Championship, as Durham came second, and he helped his side to glory in the Friends Provident Trophy.

The 10-47 was just the cherry on the cake.