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An Indian classic

1952 Madrass. Polly Umrigar set up India’s first Test victory with an exquisite 130 not out.

Pahelam Ratanji “Polly” Umrigar, The tall, well-built batsman, was not in the original squad due to his poor form with bat in previous games. But a wrist injury to Hemu Adhikari had given Polly a place in the final XI.

When Polly walked out to bat on the third day morning with the India score on 216 for 5 , thanks to Pankaj Roy for his 111 , in reply to England’s 266. Polly had been demoted to No. 7 due to his poor batting form, but Poly Umrigar produced an innings of exquisite quality against a strong English attack, he had proved the selectors were wrong.

Polly in the company of Dattu Phadkar added 104 runs.They matched each other stroke by stroke. Helped India lead to cross the 50-mark. Once Phadkar departed , Umrigar took the charge. With his blitzing drives and the powerful pulls, he glistened in the hot Madras afternoon. Umrigar approached his hundred as well as taking India towards the 400-mark.
Umrigar carried on with his assortment of strokes and drives. India innings declare at 457 for 9, Umrigar remained unbeaten on 130.

Later Ghulam Ahmed and Vinu Mankand spun India to their first ever test victory. With this spectacular innings Polly Umrigar had scripted his name in eternal characters in the annals of Indian cricket.