On this day in 1976: India chase down 406 against West Indies

On April 12, 1976, India’s batting order pulled off a brilliant performance to chase down a record 406/4 against West Indies to clinch a historic victory courtesy of Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath, who put for a ton with the bat, leading their team to chase down a humungous total of a 400+ score.

India lost the first game of the four-match series by an innings at the Kensington Oval. They tried their best in the second Test to win it, but the game was drawn by the barest of margins. The third Test of the series was an opportunity for India to make a comeback, after their close call in the second Test.

West Indies captain Clive Lloyd won the toss and elected to bat as the pitch seemed promising. But Windies suffered a collapse when India’s Bhagwat Chandrasekhar picked up three quick wickets as the hosts fell from 45/0 to 52/3. But this brought Sir Viv Richards and Lloyd together on the field, and they added 124 runs to the board in no time. Though the skipper was dismissed after scoring 68 runs, Richards added 177 runs to his name.

Chandrasekhar and Bishan Singh Bedi demolished the line-up as the former picked up a six-wicket haul and the latter cleaned up four batters as the hosts posted 359 runs in their first innings. India, in their first innings were dismissed for 228 as Michael Holding picked a fifer.

West Indies had a lead in hand and they declared the second innings after scoring 271 runs, with their middle-order batter Alvin Kallicharran remaining unbeaten at 103*. India had to chase down 403 runs in the final innings, and the fact that India had never chased a score more than 256 was persistent.

Gavaskar, opening for the side, was completely into the game since the very first ball. The determination in his form showed how desperate he was to take India towards a victory. A 102 from him and a 112 from Viswanath, followed by Mohinder Amarnath’s 85 helped India register an iconic win over the West Indies as they ended the game at 406/4.