First Indian to Score a Century and take Five Wickets in a Match
Mulvantrai Himmatlal Mankad was born at Jamnagar on 12th April 1917. Known in the cricketing world as Vinoo Mankad, he was an accomplished batsman and slow left arm bowler. He played in 44 Tests for India. He made 2109 runs at an average of 31.47. He made five test centuries and six half centuries with a highest score of 231. He finished with 162 wickets at an average of 32.32 that included eight five-wicket returns. He was a versatile cricketer and batted in every position, from the first to the last, during his career. He had taken 33 test catches. His best test bowling was 8 wickets for 52 runs. He made his test debut on 22nd June 1946 against England. He played his last test in February 1959 against the West Indies.
He played 233 first class matches accumulating 11591 runs including 26 centuries and 52 half centuries at an average of 34.70. He finished with a tally of 782 wickets. He had taken 190 catches. He played for Bombay and later Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy. Before Kapil Dev Nikhanj came on the scene, Vinoo Mankad was probably India’s greatest all rounder.
Vinoo Mankad gave his best test performance against England at Lord's in 1952. This was one year after Vijay Merchant had retired from test cricket. He made 72 in the first innings. During England's first innings, he bowled 73 overs and took 5 for 196. The second innings of that test match saw him top-scoring again with 184 runs out of India's total of 378. Though England won the match, Mankad's all-round display brought respect to India in a series where they were totally dominated. Mankad was the first Indian player to score a century and take five wickets in a test match.
Earlier that year, he turned out another memorable performance against England again in Madras. He took 8/52 in England's first innings and 4/53 in the second innings enabling India beat England for the very first time in a test match. 1952 belonged to Vinoo Mankad.
In 1956, he hit 231 against New Zealand at Madras and together with Pankaj Roy made a world record opening of 413 runs which was unbroken for fifty two years. His score was a test record for India until it was broken in 1983 by Sunil Gavaskar and later Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag broke the record. Virender Sehwag is the current holder with the highest score of 319.
Vinoo Mankad was involved in an infamous controversy in 1947 on India's tour of Australia when he ran out Bill Brown while he was backing up in the second test. He broke the wicket at the non-striker's end during his run-up while the batsman was out of his ground. He had got Bill Brown out in a similar fashion in a game against an Australian XI earlier on the tour. This action of his made the Australian cricket media gun for him. Although Sir Donald Bradman came to his rescue saying that he was within the book by getting a batsman out like that, the incident became notoriously famous and anyone getting run out this way from that moment onwards was known as `Mankaded’. This incident, nevertheless, was not considered gentlemanly as far as sportsman spirit goes. Many years later, during a World Cup match in 1987, Courtney Walsh had an opportunity to run out Saleem Jaffar of Pakistan in a similar situation. But he never did. He simply cautioned him and went back to his run up. Courtney Walsh was later regarded as the gentleman of cricket after that incident.
Vinoo Mankad died on 21st August 1978 at the age of 61 suffering a severe stroke. It is a strange coincidence in the family that both his sons, Ashok Mankad, a test player and Atul Mankad, a Ranji player, also passed away at the ages of 61 and 62 respectively.
Vinoo Mankad has made a mark on the Indian cricket as the best all rounder but after Kapil Dev Nikhanj.