Rare feat

Over his career the big Bajan, Ottis Gibson, has pounded in for Barbados, for Glamorgan, Leicestershire and Durham in England, for Border, Griqualand West and Guateng in South Africa, and in two Test matches for the West Indies

Shane Warne, a bowler who has taken more than 700 Test wickets, stood and applauded Ottis Gibson from the field after the 38-year-old Durham seamer ran through Hampshire single-handedly to become the first man to take all 10 wickets in a championship innings for 13 years.

Richard Johnson was the last to achieve the feat, for Middlesex back in 1994, the year Gibson made his county debut for Glamorgan. Over his career the big Bajan has pounded in for Barbados, for Glamorgan, Leicestershire and Durham in England, for Border, Griqualand West and Guateng in South Africa, and in two Test matches for the West Indies, with a previous best return of 7-55, but this was his day and his conditions, and he drew on all that experience to exploit them brilliantly.

Durham had begun the day by adding only seven to their overnight 245-7, with captain Dale Benkenstein last man out for a dogged 114, but the South African had seen enough in those few minutes to know the wicket, which had spent all the previous day sweating under the covers, would be more suited to the medium-pace swing and seam of Gibson than the more slippery deliveries of Liam Plunkett and Graham Onions.

The comfort with which Michael Carberry dealt with Onions’ opening over suggested he was right, and Gibson’s first, from the Finchale End, confirmed it. Running in without urgency and pitching the ball up, he immediately began to move the ball, and the procession began with the in-form Carberry, whose edge carried low to first slip where Ben Harmison took a good two-handed catch.

John Crawley was next, neither forward nor back as he gave the Durham wicket-keeper Phil Mustard the first of four catches, but Michael Brown and Michael Lumb, not without fortune, took the score past 60. Lumb hit Gibson for two straight fours and Plunkett was beginning to warm up, but Gibson brought the next ball back, Lumb unaccountably padded up, and was walking before the umpire’s index finger went up.

Chris Benham was next, bowled attempting to drive another swinging delivery, and Nic Pothas pushed rather than drove at a length ball to give a straightforward return catch as Hampshire lunched, and Gibson rested, with the visitors at 73 for five.

Dimitri Mascarenhas made it six with a thin edge, Warne was trapped leg before by a ball which started leg-stump and would have hit off, and Shaun Udal edged to Mustard. Brown, who went on to carry his bat, saved the follow-on, but a perfectly timed rain break allowed Gibson to recharge his batteries. His first ball after the resumption hit David Griffiths on the helmet, the next had him caught behind, and third, a beauty, uprooted James Bruce’s off-stump.

“I’ve been around long enough to know that when it’s your day you must make the most of it, but I got lucky today,” smiled Gibson afterwards. “Before I got Lumb I’d said to ‘Benky’ it wasn’t swinging anymore, and then before the rain came I was going to come off.

“Even then I would have settled for eight, but Benky said at my age I wouldn’t get another opportunity to get 10.”

Gibson, who confirmed he had spoken to ‘one or two people’ about the current West Indies coaching vacancy, said when he took the 10th wicket he felt like he was 16 again.

“Even now I sometimes sit at home and dream of being a hero out there, you know, getting ‘10-fer’ or scoring the winner in a World Cup final, real pie in the sky stuff,” he said. Not on July 22, it wasn’t.

Championship 10-FORS

10-45: R. Johnson, Middlesex v Derbyshire, 1994.

10-47: O. Gibson, Durham v Hampshire, 2007.

10-49: E. Hollies, Warwickshire v Notts, 1946.

10-49: N. Thomson, Sussex v Warwickshire, 1964.

10-54: T. Lock, Surrey v Kent, 1956.

10-66: K. Graveney, Gloucestershire v Derbyshire, 1956.

10-66: K. Smales, Notts v Gloucestershire, 1956.

10-90: T. Bailey, Essex v Lancashire 1949.

10-102: R. Berry, Lancashire v Worcestershire, 1953.

The best Championship analysis in history is 10-10 by Hedley Verity of Yorkshire against Notts in 1932.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2007