7th April, 1962. Port of Spain, Trinidad. Day 4 of the 4th test between West Indies & India. It has been a forgettable tour. India have lost all 3 tests so far. And their captain, Nari Contractor, had his skull cracked by Charlie Griffith in a tour game.
He spent weeks in hospital & never played test cricket again. But the bandwagon has rolled on. Once again, the hosts have dominated. India have been made to follow-on, and very few expected the hosts to bat again. But sometimes, when he has fallen deep, man
finds unexpected courage. So it happened. Vijay Mehra, the opener, makes a gritty half century. Salim Durrani, never one to baulk at a challenge, walks out at 3 and ends day 3 on 91*, nine short of a maiden test 100. India are 186/2, still 61 short. And so
starts 7th Apr, 1962. It doesn't augur well. Vijay Manjrekar goes after adding just 4. 190/3. Two runs later, the 21-year old captain, Nawab of Pataudi (Jr) is gone for a single. 192/4. It brings to the wicket Polly Umrigar. Although India have struggled, he
has had a good game. Picked up 5 wickets and then top scored with 56. Durrani reaches his 100 - incidentally his only one in tests - but fails to carry on, falling with the score at 221. The end is expected to be near. Umrigar's retiring
at the end of this series. The old tiger has one last fight left in him. A dark spot in his illustrious career has been his struggles against fast bowling - especially with respect to Trueman. Charging in at him are Hall & Stayers, no mean duo as far as
pace is concerned. Giving company are Gibbs & Sobers, not making life any easier. Over the coming hours, Umrigar lights up Queen's Park Oval. Wickets keep falling but he seems oblivious. Not pace not spin, nothing conquers him. When the last wicket falls,
Umrigar is not out on 172. Incredibly, he has scored them out of the 230 runs scored since he arrived at the wicket. And he has set WI a target of 176 to chase down. Which they do without too many problems. Durrani though picks up all 3 wickets to fall,
becoming the 1st man to follow a test 100 with the first 3 wickets of the following inns. But this is Umrigar's tale. #OTD, Polly Umrigar played, albeit in a lost cause, a gem of a knock - definitely one of the best 4th innings essays ever - and in fact
produced a brilliant all-round display in what was his 2nd last test match. Legend. #crickethistory #indiancricket

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6 Apr
#OTD in 1988, Imran Khan's Pakistan did what no team had been able to do for a decade, defeating West Indies at home. WI were missing king Viv and Marshall. Greenidge was capt. They handed a debut to a very tall young fast bowler named Curtley Ambrose. The
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6 Apr
65th birthday of the Colonel. I don't why, my top most memory of the man doesn't entail international cricket. It is the Ranji Trophy final of 1991 - the closest one ever in the history of the tournament. Bombay lost out by just 2 runs to Kapil's Haryana.
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