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OTD in 1952: An impromptu rest day on what should have been the second day of the fifth Test between India and England in Madras following the death of King George VI on February 6

OTD in 1952: An impromptu rest day on what should have been the second day of the fifth Test between India and England in Madras following the death of King George VI on February 6

There are some events that are registered in the history books for their sheer serendipity. One such event happened in 1953 when an unscheduled rest day was announced during a Test match between India and England in Madras. This Test match is also historic because India won a Test match for the first time. 

The progression and a rest day

It was the fifth and last match of the Test series between India and England. The first three Tests ended in a draw but England took a lead in the series with a win in Kanpur. Now the home side had no other alternative but to win the last Test in order to save the Test series. The English skipper Donald Carr won the toss for England and decided to bat first. The batting display was not as per the standards that England had set earlier. The visitors made 266 runs in the first innings courtesy of half-centuries from Jack Robertson and Dick Spooner. The legendary Vinoo Mankad picked up 8 wickets to demolish the English batting which was going in the right direction at one point. 

The Indian batters overshadowed the opposition as they posted 457 runs on the board before declaring the innings. Polly Umrigar and Pankaj Roy made centuries which helped India dwarf the English total in the first innings. As a result of this phenomenal batting display, India took a massive lead. 

In the second innings, the visitors did not have enough fuel to resurrect themselves in the contest. England got bowled out for 183 runs which meant that they could not overcome the lead that India had in the first innings. Ghulam Ahmed and Vinoo Mankad took 4 wickets each to lead India to a historic victory by an innings and 8 runs. As much as this Test is remembered for an unscheduled rest day it should also be alive in the memory of the fans for a special performance from the Indian team that resulted in a victory over their colonial masters. 

 

Also read: Yusuf Pathan’s 210 helped West Zone register biggest chase in first-class cricket in 2010

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