We wander back a long way for today’s “On This Day”, all the way to 1955. It was a day of records at the Fateh Maidan, Hyderabad as India resumed the day on 252, with centurions Polly Umrigar and Vijay Manjrekar taking up where they left off. Having come together at 48 for 2 against New Zealand they extended their stand to 238 before Manjrekar was dismised by Johnny Hayes. It was the then best 3rd wicket partnership for India in test matches.
Umrigar was not done and by the end of his stay, caught behind off Hayes, he had made 223, a record for India that stood until….seven weeks later. This innings passed that of Vinoo Mankad, who made 184 at Lord’s in 1952, and who would make 223 a fortnight later, and 231 in January 1956. I guess he took the loss of the record personally.
Polly Umrigar is described by the cricinfo blurb as..
” A burly six footer, Umrigar was a commanding figure at the crease – whether batting, bowling, directing operations as captain or standing in his usual position at first slip. Umrigar excelled in full blooded drives but he could also hook and pull powerfully.”
His 223 was part of India’s then record total of 498 for 4 declared (there was a hundred for Kripal Singh, on debut, which would be his only hundred in a short test career), beaten a few weeks later, but today was Polly’s day.