Monday, May 09, 2005

When Madras beat Holkar in the Ranji Trophy

From The Hindu, Madras Miscellany by S.Muthiah: `Twas a famous victory

Madras Miscellany is my favourite column. The first thing I read in my monday 'The Hindu' is this section. It was more enjoyable today as it talked about Madras winning its first Ranji Trophy 50 years back.

The scorecard of that Holkar vs Madras final (from Cricinfo).

Balu Alaganan captained Madras. In both the innings, Madras survived because of excellent tenth wicket partnerships of 65 and 92! The hero in both the cases was the last wicket M.K.Murugesh, a left arm orthodox spinner. Of course, there were other stand-out performances, particularly by AG Kripal Singh who scored 75 & 91 and also 7 wickets. But he was a genuine allrounder unlike the tail Murugesh. This makes Murugesh's contribution even better.

Murugesh had debuted only the previous season (1953-54), but was the topmost wicket taker in the final the very next season and was also the best bowler in the championship in 1954-55 picking up 23 wickets @ 19.52. He seems to have played for another 4 seasons and then vanished into oblivion. His first-class career record of 68 wickets @ 27.98 shows that his last four years were not great.

Madras/Tamil Nadu won the Ranji Trophy once again in 1987-88. But that has been it. We have reached the Ranji finals twice recently, but in both cases have been thwarted by Mumbai.

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