India England Lord's 1986 Dilip Vengsarkar Kapil Dev Chetan Sharma
Clockwise, from top left: Indian fans celebrate the win; Dilip Vengsarkar en route becoming the first overseas batsman to score three hundreds at Lord’s; Chetan Sharma took 5 for 64 in the first innings; Kapil Dev, Player of the Match; a dejected David Gower, after the unceremonious sack © Getty Images

India had never won a Test at Lord’s in ten attempts till then. In fact, twelve years ago they surrendered at Lord’s so pathetically that the score lent the Indian tour its name — The Summer of 42. There were, however, little victories. In 1979, for example, India were bowled out for 96 and had to bat for an eternity to save the Test, but that is precisely what Gundappa Viswanath (113) and a young Dilip Vengsarkar (103) did.

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India lost at Lord’s in The Summer of All-Rounders in 1982 in a near-encore (they scored 128). Then that man Vengsarkar got 157, and Kapil Dev backed his eight wickets (out of the 13 India took) and 41 with a whirlwind 55-ball 89.

This time it was different. England had won 3-1 in India in 1984-85, but things had changed since then. England had been blackwashed in West Indies earlier that year. Ian Botham had been suspended after he admitted to smoking cannabis.

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England added 66 for the opening wicket before their middle-order had run into a bowler touted to be “quicker than Kapil Dev”. Less than two months after bowling that full-toss to Javed Miandad at Sharjah, Chetan Sharma took 5 for 64 to bowl out England for 294 — this, despite Graham Gooch’s typically gritty hundred.

Then Vengsarkar strode out to script history. He became the first overseas batsman to score a three Test hundreds — 126 not out this time — at Lord’s. Standing tall (literally), he drove with panache off the front foot, at times kneeling to reach the pitch. And anything short was duly dispatched.

India, buoyed by a 38-run last wicket stand, clinched a 47-run lead. Then Kapil (4 for 52) burst on to the scenario with three quick wickets. England did amble to 108 for 3 despite that, but once the fourth wicket fell they collapsed to 180. Maninder Singh finished with ridiculous figures of 20.4-12-9-3.

India needed only 134, but Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Sunil Gavaskar perished soon, while Mohinder Amarnath scratched around before Derek Pringle ended his agony. The onus fell on Vengsarkar again, whose 33 turned out to be the top score of the innings. Then, with India struggling at 110 for 5, Kapil walked out and smashed an unbeaten 10-ball 23 to seal things.

On his return to the dressing-room after the post-match press conference, Gower found out that he had already been replaced by Mike Gatting.

Brief scores:

England 294 (Graham Gooch 114, Derek Pringle 63; Roger Binny 3 for 55, Chetan Sharma 5 for 64) and 180 (Kapil Dev 4 for 52, Maninder Singh 3 for 9) lost to India 341 (Mohinder Amarnath 69, Dilip Vengsarkar 126*; Graham Dilley 4 for 146, Derek Pringle 3 for 58) and 136 for 5 by 5 wickets.

Player of the Match: Kapil Dev.