It was the year 1946. Indian cricket team was touring England. Indian captain was Nawab of Pataudi, Sr.
On May 13, 1946, India played against Surrey (county). Since Pataudi was sick, Indian team played under the captaincy of Vijay Merchant. Surrey team was led by Nigel Bennett.
India won the toss and chose to bat first. The score was 205 for 9. The last batsman Shute Banerjee walked to the crease to join India’s 10th batsman Chandu Sarwate.
The Surrey captain thought he could dismiss one of the batsmen in a few minutes. One of the commentators said (and I paraphrase) – Look at these number 10 and number 11 players from the Indian side. They walk to the crease as if they are opening batsmen.
Little did they know Sarwate and Banerjee were excellent all-rounders. Sarwate used to open the innings for Holkar and Banerjee for Bihar. They both opened the innings together in 1945 for East Zone against the Australian Services team.
Indian innings ended with 454 all out. This last wicket pair put on a world record partnership of 249 runs in 190 minutes. Banerjee was out for 121 and Sarwate remained unbeaten with 124.
Other than this memorable last wicket partnership, here are some important information from this match.
Indian leg-spinner C. S. Nayudu took a hat-trick.
Surrey finished their first innings 135 all out.
Sarwate took the wickets 5 for 54.
In the second innings Indian side needed 20 runs to win. Sarwate was promoted to open the Indian second innings. But he fell for just 1 run. India won by 9 wickets.