New Delhi. Former India batsman Sunil Gavaskar stunned England with his unparalleled batting on 1 September. 42 years ago, on the 5th day of the Oval Test, Gavaskar played a marathon innings of 221 runs. Little Master missed the world record for the highest score by just two runs in the fourth innings. Despite Gavaskar’s innings, India had to be content with a draw after reaching the brink of victory. After losing the first Test and drawing the next two Tests, India had a tough target of 8 in the fourth Test at the Oval. At that time, no one believed that the Indian team would be just nine runs away from the target when the match ended in a draw on the fifth day. India scored 429 runs for the loss of 8 wickets.
Sunil Gavaskar equaled West Indies’ George Hadley’s record of just 2 runs at that time. Hadley scored 223 against England in Kingston in 1930. This record is still in Hadley’s name. New Zealand’s Nathan Astel was dismissed for 222 after Gavaskar’s run count against England in Christchurch in 2002.
Gavaskar’s marathon innings
Gavaskar was at the crease for eight hours and 10 minutes during this innings and he faced 443 balls and hit 21 fours. In the fourth innings, Gavaskar has scored twice in three of India’s 40,000 or more runs. Gavaskar scored 102 when India achieved a record target of 403 against the West Indies in Port of Spain in 1976. Although Gavaskar brought the team closer to the goal at the Oval, the Indian innings collapsed as soon as he was out and in the end he scored 429 for eight and barely drew the match.
Gavaskar is the highest scorer in the fourth innings
Gavaskar may have missed Hadley’s world record but the Indian record for the highest score in the fourth innings is still in his name. Earlier this record was in the name of Vijay Hazare (122 vs. West Indies, Mumbai 1949).
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After Gavaskar, Indian batsmen KL Rahul (149), Vengskar (146 not out), Virat Kohli (141) and Sachin Tendulkar (136) are at number one. Rahul also played a 19-run innings at the Oval in 2018-2018.
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