Cricket is a game where records may come in different ways – there are records made by the batsmen, there are records made by bowlers, sometimes, there are partnership records made by a combination of two batsmen.
Then there are team records like highest score in a match while there are some records which are made by joint collaboration of both the teams – like the record for highest combined aggregate of runs which is held by Bombay and Maharashtra, when 2376 runs were scored for the loss of 38 wickets in the Ranji Trophy 1948/49 Semifinal between the two teams at Pune (then Poona).
Bombay won the toss in the crucial encounter and elected to bat first on what looked like a batting belter. The batsmen did not disappoint as they piled on 651 runs before being bowled out. M.K. Mantri top scored with 200, while Uday Merchant and Dattu Phadkar got 143 and 131 respectively.
Sayajirao Dhanwade and Dattaraya Chaudhari gave away 195 and 149 runs respectively to take just three wickets.
In reply to this mammoth first innings total of Bombay, Maharashtra could not make full use of the pitch except for a mammoth partnership for the third wicket between Manohar Datar and Madhusudan Rege. The duo completed their century and it was largely due to their effort that Maharashtra ended up with 407 runs on the board. Dattu Phadkar and Keki Tarapore were the Bombay bowlers to give away more than 100 runs in the first innings.
When Bombay came out to bat again, it turned out to be an even more ragged job in the field for likes of Datar and Rege as the visitors scored 714.
Thanks to Uday Merchant’s 156 and Dattu Phadkar’s 160 with KC Ibrahim, Khandu Ranganekar, and Madan Raiji chipping in with valuable half-centuries. On the bowling front, Bhausaheb Nimbalkar and Sayajirao Dhanwade gave away more than 100 runs while Dattaraya Chaudhari gave away 210 runs.
Set an improbable target of 959 runs, Maharashtra did not give in and fought their heart out. Madhusudan Rege completed his second ton of the match while Sharad Deodhar struck 146, but it could only take their team up to 604. Datta Phadkar, Keki Tarapore, and GS Ramchand were the bowling centurions in this innings.
After seven days of play, 2376 runs were scored with 354 runs separating the two sides. The victory arrived ultimately on Bombay’s side but till then, history had already been written.
Image credit : Cricketcounty