Mankad scores 184 and takes 5-196

 Back to Supporter Wall

India arrived at Lord’s for the second Test of their 1952 series in something approaching a state of shock.

England had inflicted a crushing defeat on them at Headingley, reducing them to 0 for 4 at the start of their second innings, but at Lord’s India were boosted by the return to their line-up of all-rounder Vinoo Mankad, one of the stars of their previous tour. He made his Test debut at Lord’s in 1946 and marked the occasion with a maiden 50. His return to the Home of Cricket would be even more memorable.

Mankad had played no part in the tour so far. He was contracted to Lancashire League side Haslingden and had missed the first 13 games of India’s trip due to his commitments there. While India were suffering a demoralising defeat in Leeds, Mankad had been on the far side of the Pennines where Haslingden were engaged in back-to-back home fixtures against Lowerhouse and Todmorden. He had claimed 5 for 15 with his left-arm spin in the first match as Haslingden cruised to a seven-wicket win, then earned a draw in the second with 70 not out.

It was Mankad who got the Test off to a blistering start, making 72 in 138 minutes and posting an opening stand of 106 with Pankaj Roy. But his teammates failed to capitalise, only skipper Vijay Hazare making an impression as India were bowled out for 235 before the close. England then batted for a day and a half, making 537. Len Hutton and Godfrey Evans both made hundreds, while Mankad whirled away for 73 overs, taking 5 for 196. His workload was not unprecedented; a few months earlier he had got through 76 overs against England at Delhi.

Resuming 302 behind, Mankad gave India another positive start. Striking 19 fours and a six, Mankad reached 184 in under five hours, taking India to 270 for 2 before he was bowled by Jim Laker. Once again, India’s batsmen could not build on the foundation he had laid, and the team’s final total of 378 was not enough to prevent an England victory by eight wickets. Four days later, Mankad took 2 for 43 and scored 9 as Haslingden won away at Ramsbottom.