India vs Pakistan 1954/55 (Part One)

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Fri, 14/01/2022
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After Pakistan had first toured India in the winter of 1952/53, it was time for the visit to be reciprocated two years later, with India arriving to play a five-match Test series, which they chose to make do without the benefit of any warm-up matches.

All five Tests matches were tightly contested. However, due to the slowness of the pitches, they failed to produce any definitive results and all the games ended up being draws.

The first Test match was staged in Dacca (now Dhaka, in Bangladesh), beginning on New Year’s Day, where Pakistan won the toss and batted. Opener Hanif Mohammad made 41, while both Imtiaz Ahmed and Waqar Hasan scored half-centuries as they finished on 257, Ghulam Ahmed being the best of the Indian bowlers with 5-109.

India struggled in their reply, and were indebted to a fifth wicket stand of 59 between Gulabrai Ramchand and Polly Umrigar to help them reach 148. Mahmood Hussain claimed 6-67 and Khan Mohammad 4-42.

In their second innings, Alimuddin and Waqar shared a second-wicket partnership of 92. But the dismissal of Alimuddin for 51 sparked a dramatic collapse, and the remaining wickets fell for the addition of 38. Subhash Gupte caused most of the damage, with 6-18.

Chasing 255, India were on their way to victory, Pankaj Roy scoring 67 not out and Vijay Manjrekar 74 not out, when time ran out. 

The two sides headed to Bahawalpur for the second Test match.

This time India won the toss and batted, and were again indebted to Ramchand (53) and Manjrekar (50), although it was No. 9 Naren Tamhane whose unbeaten 54 gave their final score of 235 all out some gloss. Khan Mohammad took 5-74.

Hanif starred with the bat when it was Pakistan’s turn, making 142, including 17 fours and a six, while Alimuddin scored 60, as Pakistan declared on 313/9. Umrigar took 6-74 and bowled 25 maidens.

India, though, chose to bat out the rest of the game. Roy again led the way with 78, while Manjrekar cored 59. They helped India reach 209/5 before the umpires removed the bails for the final time.