1948-49: When India and West Indies Played First Series

1948/49 Series started the cricketing relation between India and West Indies. There were no individual prizes, such as player of the match or player of the series. The series belonged to the West Indies batsmen, specially Everton Weekes, who hit 4 centuries. India had its moments, but the closest they came was when they could not score 6 more runs to win the match.

1948-49 Series Result
1948-49 Series Statistics

The series was India’s 6th Test Series in Cricket History. Earlier they had played 4 test series against England and one series against Australia in their international cricketing history that started in 1932.

West Indies won the 4th Test, and hence the series. India came closest to victory in the 5th test, when they feel short just by 6 runs, when the final day play was called off.

Indian captain Adhikari scored 220 runs in 7 innings, with an unbeaten century. His counterpart West Indies captian Goddard scored 190 runs in 6 innings, with highest of 44 runs. He also took 9 wickets.

Phadkar and Mankad emerged as the best bowlers from Indian team taking 14 and 16 wickets, respectively. Jones (17 wkts) and Gomez (16) wickets were the best two West Indies bowler. Rangachari of India became the first bowler to take 5 wickets in an inning in India-WI bilateral series. Jones registered first 5 wickets haul for West Indies, the only such performance from WI team in the series.

Everton Weekes of West Indies, RS Modi and Vijay Hazare were the only three batsmen who could cross 500-mark in the series. Weekes emerged as highest scorer of the series with 779 runs in 7 innings that saw 4 centuries, one of which missed double century just by 6 runs, and 2 half-centuries, one of which missed centurry by just 10 runs. Walcott with 452 runs, hitting 2 centuries and 2 half-centuries emerged as second best batsman for WI. The Carribean openers Rae and Stollmeyer flourished scoring 374 and 342 runs, respectively. Rae hit 2 centuries and missed other by 3 runs. Stollmeyer hit one century & 2 half-centuries.

For Indians, Vijaya Hazare and Modi were the exceptional performers. Modi scored 560 runs in 10 innings with 1 century and 5 half-centuries. Hazare scored 543 runs in 10 innings with 2 centuries and 3 half-centuries. Besides these two batsmen, Mushtaq Ali and Adhikari also hit a century each.

Walcott was the third highest run scorer of the series. For India P Sen could just score 22 runs in the inning he played before being out of the series with injury, while his temporary replacement Lala Amarnath scored 275 runs.

Overall the series was fought very close, despite the domination by West Indies batting and the result 1-0 in favour of West Indies justifies that.

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