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On This Day - December 17, 1933: Lala Amarnath Scores India's First Ever Test Century

On This Day - December 17, 1933: Lala Amarnath Scores India's First Ever Test Century

Amarnath, on debut, registered the first century by an Indian in Test cricket. He scored 118 which included 21 boundaries.

First Test, Mumbai, December 15-18, 1933: England were touring India right in the middle of the freedom struggle in 1933. Douglas Jardine was the captain of the England team while C.K. Nayudu was leading India. The home team were bowled out for 219 in the first innings with Lala Amarnath top-scoring with 38. England replied with 438 with Bryan Valentine registering 136. Mohammad Nissar picked 5 wickets. India lost the wickets of their openers - Syed Wazir Ali and Janardan Navle - early in the second innings and were reeling at 21 for 2. Lala Amarnath then partnered with Nayudu and the pair put together 186 for the third-wicket.

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During the course of the partnership, Amarnath, on debut (along with other famous names such as Vijay Merchant and Rustomji Jamshedji), registered the first century by an Indian in Test cricket (in the country's second match in their Test history).

He scored 118 which included 21 boundaries. Apart from Nayudu's 67, only two other batsmen registered double-digit scores in the innings.

India put up a brave fight and batted for almost 91 overs and managed to post 258 in the second innings. They made England bat again thereby avoiding an innings' defeat.

Incidentally, this was the only hundred scored by Amarnath in his 24-match Test career in which he aggregated 878 runs at an average of 24.38. He had a stellar record in first class cricket where he scored 10426 runs in 186 matches at an average of 41.37 including 31 hundreds. Amarnath was also a useful right-arm medium pacer and bagged 45 Test wickets and 463 first class wickets.

Lala Amarnath was an icon for Indian cricket. Born in 1911 in Kapurthala in Punjab, he had a huge influence on the game's development in India. He died in August, 2000 in New Delhi.