England vs India in 1971: 50 years of the historic Oval Test, Day 3


Brilliant rear-guard action by Solkar (44) and Engineer (59), who put on 97 glorious runs for the sixth wicket, helped India rally to 234 for seven after half the side was down for only 125 against England at close of the third day’s play in the third and final Test at the Oval to-day.

India still requires 122 runs with only three wicket in hand to overhaul England’s first innings total of 355. Apart from the fighting efforts of Solkar and Engineer, two seasoned Bombay campaigners-;skipper Wadekar (48) and Sardesai (54) figured in a 93-run third wicket stand after openers Gavaskar and Mankad were out cheaply with only 21 runs on the board.

Despite fine spin bowling by England captain Illingworth, who captured three valuable wickets
to 23 balls without conceding a eun and made India slump to 139 for five at tea, Solkar and Engi-
neer batting with grit and determination helped their side avoid the follow on and carry the score
past the 200 mark.

A.V. Mankad, Indian opening batsman ducks to avoid a bumper from England’s John Snow being watched by Sunil Gavaskar at the non strikers end in India’s first innings of against England at The Oval, London –  The Hindu

While consistent Solkar defied at one end patiently, the hard- hlttlng Engineer, like his English
counterpart Knott hit his way out of trouble excelling in leg-side strokes both off the spinners and
pacemen. After he and Underwood failed to dislodge the Indian pair Illingworth took the new ball with the total at 197 for but even this held no terror

Thereafter Engineer, who was stuck on 43 for 20 minutes, faced only seven balls during the period
and hoisted his individual 50.  Engineer’s half-century took him 106 minutes at the crease and
came off 96 balls.

D’OIiveira, who made the ball swing either way, gave England the vital breakthrough when he
had Solkar caught in the second slip by Fletcher for 44 runs and India was six down for 222.

Engineer, who was going strong was out ten minutes before close when Snow tempted him with a
short-pitched delivery outside the off-stump. The batsman fell a prey to the strategy and scooped up an easy catch to Illlngworth at aid-on.

At stumps. Abid Ali and Venkatraghavan were batting with 2 and 3 runs respectively.

Tomorrow being the rest day, the match will be resumed on
Monday. – AP

Reuters reports:

Sunil Gavaskar, who scored only six including a -four, apparently lost his concentration and got out after a black Labrador majestically strayed into the field holding up play for about three minutes. The players chased the dog and finally Snow grabbed and held itdown till officials led it off the ground. It appeared as if the incident might have upset the Bombay opener’s concentration because he was out in the next ball.

The Scoreboard

England-1st Innings: 355

(J. Jameson 82, J. H. Edrich 41, A. P E Knott 90, R. Button 81, Solkar three for 28).

India – 1st Innings 234 for 7
S. M. Gavaskar b Snow 6, A. V. Mankad b Price 10, A. L. Wadekar c Button b Ulineworth 48,
D. N. Sardesai b Ulinxworth 54, G R. Viswanath b Illingworth 0, E. D. Solkar c Fletcher b D’Oliveira 44, F. St. Engineer c Illingworth b Snow 59, S. Abid Ali (not out) 2, S. Venkatragahavan (not out) 3

Extras 8
Total (for 7 wickets) 234
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-21, 3-114, 4-118, 5-125, 6-222, 7-230.

This first appeared in The Hindu on August 22, 1971


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