Jim Laker is regarded as one of the best spinners ever to have turned out for England in the longest format of the game but he is forever remembered for his heroics in the fourth Test of the 1956 edition of the Ashes.
Laker played 46 Tests for the Three Lions in which he picked up 193 wickets, which included nine 5-wicket hauls and three 10-wicket hauls (in a match).
However, whenever anyone takes the name Jim Laker, everyone is reminded of just one thing — his 19 wickets in Manchester against Australia.
The five-match series was locked 1-1 after Australia won the second Test at Lord's and England hit back in the next match at Leeds.
In the first innings of the penultimate Test, England posted a mammoth score of 459 — with Peter Richardson and David Sheppard both slamming their respective centuries.
In reply, the visitors were bundled out for a paltry 84, with Laker ending the innings with astounding figures of 9/37. This was also the best figures by a bowler in Ashes cricket then.
England enforced the follow and Laker then did the unthinkable as he bettered his own first innings record by capturing all ten wickets in the second essay. The visitors were dismissed for 205 and lost the match by an innings and 70 runs.
Laker's match figures of 19/90 remain the best figures in Test cricket till this day and it seems an impossible task for any bowler to match it, let alone break it. Only Anil Kumble has ever matched his feat of 10 wickets in an innings in Test cricket after he dismissed all ten Pakistani batsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla in 1999.
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