England vs India in 1971: 50 years of the historic Oval Test, Day 4

Needing 173 runs for an outright-win with more than a day to spare, India began the second knock in a shocking manner when Gavaskar fell to Snow for nought.

Leg-spinner Chandrasekhar's six wickets for 38 runs off 18.1 overs skittled out England for a paltry 101 in the second innings on day four of the Oval Test.   -  The Hindu

India needs 97 runs to win after leg-spinner B. S. Chandrasekhar's six wickets for 38 runs off 18.1 overs skittled out England for a paltry 101 in the second innings. India's skipper Wadekar (45) and Sardesai (13) with an unfinished 39-run partnership for the third wicket put India on the threshold of its first-ever win over England on its home soil at the Oval today.

At close of the thrilling penultimate day's play in the third Test, India required only 97 runs
with eight wickets in hand to clinch a hard earned win tomorrow. England's 101 was its lowest total against India since 1936. It scored 134 at Lord's in that year.

Needing 173 runs for an outright-win with more than a day to spare, India began the second knock in a shocking manner when star opener Gavaskar fell leg-before wicket to Snow for no score with the total reading a dismal two.

Tension and excitement mounted as Gavaskar's early dismissal portrayed bad luck for India, but Mankad and Wadekar steadied the innings putting on 35 precious runs for the second wicket before Mankad was out to a diving left-handed catch by Hutton in the slips off Underwood for 11.

With both the openers back in the pavilion for a meagre 37, Sardesai joined Wadekar with a heavy responsibility on his shoulders. Against a tight field coupled with accurate spin attack by Illingworth and Underwood, the two batsmen, not taking any ricks, saw their side through the day with 76 for two.

Wadekar batted brilliantly and after surviving an appeal for being caught at short-leg off Underwood which was negatived, raised the 50 of the Indian Innings with a delicately-timed square-out for a four off the same bowler. The half-century came in 103 minutes.

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Illiingworth's gamble to secure another wicket with frequent shuffling of his bowlers proved abortive as the two mixing caution with aggression comfortably tackled all the bowlers.

Unless rain interferes with the play tomorrow, India has a fair chance of wrapping up the series. On a turning wicket the spinners bowled accurately and viciously to send back the England batsmen at regular intervals ably supported on the field by some superb fielding.

Jameson hit Venkatraghavan for a lofted four before he was run out for the third time in four Test innings, Luckhurst straight drove a full toss from Chandrasekhar, who deflected the ball on to the stumps with Jameson, backing up out of his ground.

Edrich failed to score, bowled by Chandrasekhar's quicker ball. The next delivery Fletcher was caught by the diving Solkar at short square-leg and England was reeling at 24 for three when it went for lunch.

Resuming at the lunch score of 24 for three, opener Luckhurst and D'Oliveira could add only 25 runs before Venkatraghavan deceived the latter with a curving ball and he was caught at long on by Jayantilal substituting for Sardesai for 17.

Alan Knott, England wicket-keeper is caught by Solkar off the bowling of S. Venkatraghavan of India (not in picture) in the second innings of the Oval Test. PHOTO: THE HINDU ARCHIVES   -  The Hindu


D'Oliveira's knock included two boundaries. The batsman who seemed like going great guns created a small flutter when he survived two hard chances and in one of these Sardesai had to get back to the pavilion when he hurt his finger while trying to take a hard catch.

Knott who has been on a run-scoring spree this season joined Luckhurst, but could not last long.

With the total at 54 Knott made his exit, brilliantly caught by Solkar who dived full length at short leg to scoop up a superb catch off Venkatraghavan for only one Luckhurst seemed the only batsman now who faced the Indian bowling with some confidence and skipper lllingworth who came next was not very comfortable facing Chandrasekhar.

lllingworth was the next to leave when Chandrasekhar deceived the batsman with a half volley forcing him to drive. The batsman spooned a return catch to Chandrasekhar and the bowler accepted it gratefully. He scored only four runs.

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At this stage Chandrasekhar'a analysis read three for 25 off 12 overs and England was six for 65. Seven runs later Chandrasekhar took two valuable wickets in the same over when he dismissed opener Luckhurst and paceman Snow. Luckhurst was the first to leave when he was brilliantly caught by Venkataraghavan for 33.

Including two 4's and Snow was the eighth man out caught and bowled by Chandrasekhar with the total reading only 72.

Now the second last pair of Hutton and Underwood came on the scene and with tension mounting. Wadekar crowded the batsmen with a ring of fielders to effect a quick breakthrough without giving away any runs.

Wadekar brought in left-arm-spinner Bedi from one end for the first time in England's second knock and this move paid rich dividends.

Bedi forced Underwood into playing a forward stroke and Mankad near the bat brought off a neat catch to dismiss the batsman who had scored 12 runs. Price, the last man in was trapped lbw by Chandrasekhar when the batsman had scored three and Edrich clean bowled by Chandrasekhar for a naught on the fourth-day of the third and final cricket Test between England and India.

The Scoreboard
England-1st Innings: 355
 J. Jameson 82, J. H Edrich41, A. P E Knott 90, R. Button
81. Solkar three for 38).

India - 1st Innings: 284 - S. M. Gavaskar b Snow 8, A. V. Mankad b Price 10, A. L. Wadekar e Button  b lllingworth 48; D. N. Sardesai b Illingworth; G. R. Viswanath b lllingworth 0; E. D. Solkar c Fletcher b D'Oliveira 44; F. M. Engineer c Ilingworth b Snow 59; S. Abid Ali  b Dlingworth 26S. Venkatraghavan lbw
b Underwood 24; B. S. Bedi o D'Oliveira b Illingworth 2; B. S. Chandrasekhar not out 0
Extras 11
Fall of wickets: 1-17. 2-21, 3-114, 4-118, 5-125, 6-222, 7-230, 8-278, 9-284.

England bowling



England - 2nd Innings: 101 - B. W. Luckhurst c Venkatraghavan b Chandrasekhar 33; J. Jameson (run out) 16; J. H. Edrich b Chandrasekhar 0; K. W. R. Fletcher c Solkar b Chandrasekhar 0; D.'Oliveira c (sub.) b Venkatraghavan 17; A. P. E. Knott c Solkar b Venkatraghavan 1; R. Illingworth c and b Chandrasekhar 4; R. Hutton (not out) 13; J. A. Snow c and b Chandrasekhar 0; D. L. Underwood c Mankad b Bedi 11; J. Price Ibw b Chandrasekhar 3

Extras 5
Fall of Wickets: 1-23, 2-24, 3-24, 4-49, 5-54; 6-65, 7-72. 8-72, 9-96.

India bowling

Abid Ali3150

India - 2nd Innings: 76/2 - S. M. Gavaskar lbw b Snow 0; A. L. Wadekar (not out) 45; D. N. Sardesai (not out) 13
Extras 7
Fall of wickets; 1-2

This first appeared in The Hindu on August 24, 1971

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