On a day when India and Australia have engaged themselves in an enticing battle in Adelaide in the first of the four Tests, it could be worth remembering the first Test centurion for India. It incidentally happened to occur precisely 87 years ago when Lala Amarnath reached three figures in Mumbai against England. Though it did not come in a winning cause, the legendary Lala Amarnath engraved his name in the record books.
Lala Amarnath, who comes from an elite cricket family, top-scored in the first innings before reaching the elusive three figures in the second. India scraped through to only 219 in the first innings, headlined by Amarnath’s 38 and Syed Wazir Ali’s 36 as Stan Nichols, Headley Verity, and James Langridge took three wickets each. And unlike India, who made its Test debut only a year ago, England played exceptionally well.
The tourists had a centurion in Bryan Valentine alongside two half-centurions in Cyril Walters and skipper Douglas Jardine. There were also vital contributions from the lower-order batsmen aka tailenders in Verity and Harry Elliot as the Englishmen made 438. Mohammad Nissar picked up a five-wicket haul while Rustomji Jamshedji chipped in with three victims.
Lala Amarnath and C.K Nayudu put up a valiant effort:
Lala Amarnath found himself in the crease early on as Wazir perished early and Janardhan Navle departed soon after. But Amarnath and skipper C.K. Nayudu bedded themselves in and stitched a stand of 186 to put things back on track. Amarnath’s knock of 118 contained 21 fours while Nayudu managed 67 runs.
While Vijay Merchant scored 30 runs, the hosts did not have much to show more than these three contributions. India fared slightly better than the first innings, managing 258 runs and handing England a target of 40. The Englishmen scored the same within ten overs to romp to a convincing victory.