England vs India in 1971: 50 years of the historic Oval Test, Day 1

A masterly 90 by wicketkeeper-batsman Alan Knott and his record-shattering 103-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Richard Button (81) guides England to 355.

Ajit Wadekar and Dilip Sardesai on their way to the crease with England cricketers behind at The Oval.   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

A masterly 90 by wicketkeeper-batsman Alan Knott and his record-shattering 103-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Richard Button (81) and an earlier brilliant 106-run stand for the second wicket between John Jameson and John Edrich helped England pile up 355 in the first innings against India on the opening day of the third and final Test at the Oval.

The previous England best for the seventh wicket was 102 between Ray Illingworth and Roy Swetman in the same ground 12 years ago. In the previous two Tests, India allowed the English batsmen to wriggle out of a tight corner after having sent back six top batsmen for 175 runs. The Indian spinners tried their best to contain the furious onslaughts of Jameson (82), Knott and Hutton, but in vain.

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Left-arm spinner Derek Underwood who came in place of the injured Norman Gifford, also contributed a fighting 22 and helped Hutton add 68 runs for the ninth wicket in 107 minutes. The England innings terminated five minutes before stumps when Underwood was neatly caught by Wadekar off Venkatraghavan.

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England was 97 for one at lunch and 226 for six at tea. Continuing from the recess, Knott (52) and Hutton (17) carried on their solid rearguard action till the former was caught and bowled by Solkar with the second new ball for 90. Knott, who deserved a century, cracked one 6 and eleven 4's in 117 minutes. John Snow joined Hutton for the eighth wicket.

This first appeared in The Hindu on August 20, 1971.

 

He was smartly caught by Engineer off Solkar for three and England was eight down for 281. The home team's innings came close to folding up, but for the electrifying innings by young Hutton. Hutton, very strong on the offside, cut loose the Indian spinners time and again piercing the tight field with well-timed cuts and cover drives. After completing his second 50 for England in the tests, Hutton with a flurry of 4's raced to 81 before being bowled by Venkatraghavan. His cavalier knock was studded with fourteen 4's.

The most successful Indian bowler was Solkar with three for 28. Bedi, Chandrasekhar and Venkatraghavan captured two wickets each.

This first appeared in The Hindu on August 20, 1971

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