Fourth Test Match

INDIA v WEST INDIES 1948-49

Rae and Stollmeyer paved the way to victory with a record first-wicket stand for West Indies of 239. This beat the previous best of 173 by Carew and Ganteaume against England in 1948. Stollmeyer's first century in Test cricket resulted from faultless stroke-play and ability to treat every ball on its merits. Rae was missed at 67, but he, too, left little doubt about his skill. Stollmeyer did not stay long on the second day when Phadkar extracted considerable life from the pitch. Two wickets fell for two runs, and even Weekes took a long time to settle down, but he nearly reached another hundred before being run out. Gomez and Cameron rendered useful service and West Indies reached the formidable total of 582. Even so, Phadkar, who often bowled considerably short of a length to make the ball lift at an alarming angle, took seven wickets for 159.

When India went in, Trim and Jones, West Indies' pace bowlers, emulated Phadkar's methods with much success. At the end of the third day six Indian wickets were down for 225, and with the pitch showing signs of wear at each end the innings closed quickly next morning. Compelled to bat again 337 in arrears, India met disaster when Rege and Modi were dismissed with only seven runs on the board. Jones bowled with more fire and devil than at any other time in the tour, and with Trim at his best India remained in trouble. Hazare alone stood firm, but received no real support from his colleagues, and during the day fourteen wickets fell for an aggregate of 164. Gomez, as West Indies stock bowler, played his part in their triumph, and if Jones came in for barracking none could deny the merit of his performance.

© John Wisden & Co