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Thread: Classic down memory lane : History of cricket

  1. #91
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    Exclamation july 28

    July 28 down the years

    A colossus with bad knee
    Birth of surely the greatest allrounder in cricket history
    Sir Garry Sobers: if his batting didn't get you, his bowling would

    1936
    Born this day, Garry Sobers, one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Century, was just 21 years old when he converted his maiden Test century into a gigantic 365 not out against Pakistan in Kingston in 1957-58, which remained the Test record for 36 years, until Brian Lara came along. Sobers won the 1966 series in England almost single-handed, scoring three centuries - all in excess of 160 - and a 94, as well as taking 20 wickets with his left-arm bowling, which would flit between seam and spin as befitted the situation. For many years he was a stalwart at Nottinghamshire, and against Glamorgan in Swansea in 1968 he became the first batsman to hit six sixes in an over in first-class cricket, making Malcolm Nash famous in the process. A colossus with bad knees, Sobers, who Bradman called "the greatest cricketing being to have ever walked the earth", retired from the game in 1974, with 8032 Test runs and 235 wickets to his name, and was knighted shortly afterwards.

    1977
    Talking of allrounders, on this day a likely lad called Ian Botham made his Test debut for England. He started as he meant to go on, by taking five Australian wickets on his first day, and immediately served notice of his ability to buy wickets through sheer force of personality. His maiden scalp was a memorable one - Greg Chappell, bowled off what can only be described as a rank long hop. Botham added a handy 25 from No. 8, as England won by seven wickets.

    1991
    Order is restored at Edgbaston. After falling behind in the series, West Indies went 2-1 up against England with a seven-wicket victory in the fourth Test. The only English fifty of the match came from their No. 10, Chris Lewis, who also took six in the first innings and, at the age of just 22, was starting to look like the new Botham. The real deal, though, was Richie Richardson, who continued an outstanding year - nobody matched his four Test hundreds in 1991 - with a decisive 104. As for England, their dreams of their first series win over West Indies since 1969 were over, but they salvaged plenty of pride by squaring the series at The Oval.

    1987
    A maniacal run chase at Edgbaston. England were left to chase 124 off 18 overs to beat Pakistan and square the series. It called for a Flintoff or a Trescothick: instead Tim Robinson (4 off 10 balls) and Bill Athey (14 off 20) struggled to give them the requisite oomph, and England ended up on 109 for 7. In Wisden Cricket Monthly, David Frith said that "like a man who had given up all hope of wealth and then seen some diamonds in the ditch, England had ruptured themselves in their anxiety to grasp the prize". They did well even to get close, though: at lunch on the final day Pakistan were 79 for 1 - three runs behind and the most boring of draws drifting to sleep. Instead, it was so nearly a classic.

    1978
    Birth of injury-prone New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram. He took six wickets in his second Test, in 2002, against India in Hamilton - where he got his maiden Test hundred two years later. Oram packed in many ODIs in between his various injuries, with memorable assaults against Australia in the 2006-07 CB Series. A broken finger nearly kept him out of the 2007 World Cup, in which he averaged 33 with the bat and 25 with ball as New Zealand reached the semis. In 2009, more injury problems forced him to retire from Test cricket so he could concentrate on the limited-overs formats.

    1970
    Birth of the first legspinner to play Test cricket for Zimbabwe. Paul Strang won his first cap in 1994-95 and was soon joined in the team by his brother Bryan. The highlight of his career came in Sheikhupura in 1996-97, when he followed an unbeaten century from No. 8 with five wickets in Pakistan's reply, though he was somewhat overshadowed by his opposite number in the batting order, Wasim Akram, who finished unbeaten on 257. A wrist injury kept him out of the side for three years, though his comeback was impressive - he took 8 for 109 against New Zealand in Bulawayo in 2000-01.

    2003
    The first of Graeme Smith's consecutive Test double-hundreds against England. Out of form and struggling to keep his place as captain, Smith went out to bat with Herschelle Gibbs, equally out of sorts, in the first Test in Edgbaston and the two added 338 in less than 75 overs. Though the more cautious opener, once settled, Smith was unstoppable, going on to 277 - the highest by a South African at the time. England were saved from a follow-on by Ashley Giles' lower-order hitting, but despite Smith's effort to push for a result, rain forced a draw.

    1937
    Oh we do like to be beside the seaside. Two triple-centuries on the same day. Bouncy little Eddie Paynter scored 322 in five hours for Lancashire against Sussex in Hove - and Richard Moore hit 316 against Warwickshire in Bournemouth, still the highest County Championship score for Hampshire.

    1934
    South African batsman Louis Tancred died on this day. His highest Test score was made in his very first innings: 97 against Australia in 1902-03. His brother Bernard was the first player to carry his bat in Test cricket.

    1973
    Victory for England in the inaugural women's World Cup. Enid Bakewell hit 118 out of 279 for 3 to beat Australia by 92 runs at Edgbaston.

    1979
    Birth of a centurion on Test debut (at nearly 30). Marcus North started off memorably at the Wanderers, and scored two more hundreds - in the 2009 Ashes - in the first six months of his career. But then he was struck by a bout of inconsistency and eventually fell off Australia's radar. He did have one other highlight in his Test career though: against Pakistan at Lord's in 2010, North made it to the honours board? with the ball, taking 6 for 55 in a big win.

    2014
    The day South Africa won their first Test series in Sri Lanka in 21 years and extended their eight-year unbeaten run away from home. Putting behind the retirements of Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith, South Africa - led by Hashim Amla - regained the top spot in the Test rankings after a battling draw in the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo to win the series 1-0. Needing 369 to win on the final day, South Africa sealed the draw by finishing on 159 for 8. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed 5 for 40 from 45 overs on a slow day that saw 30 maidens.

    Other birthdays
    1891 Ron Oxenham (Australia)
    1902 Vibart Wight (West Indies)
    1924 Eric Fisher (New Zealand)
    1931 Johnny Martin (Australia)

    ? ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

  2. #92
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    Exclamation July 29

    July 29 down the years
    And they went on and on
    The highest Test partnership for any wicket

    Mahela Jayawardene made 374, Kumar Sangakkara 287
    2006
    The biggest Test partnership of all time. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara beat their compatriots' record (Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama's 576 against India in 1997) when they pounded South Africa into submission with a 624-run stand in Colombo. The two batted nearly three days - Jayawardene made 374 (the second Sri Lankan to get a triple-century) and Sangakkara 287. Muttiah Muralitharan did the rest, taking ten wickets in the match as Sri Lanka won by an innings and 153 runs.

    2001
    Hamilton Masakadza became the first black African to score a Test century - and, for all of 41 days, the youngest debutant centurion in Test history. Aged just 17 years and 352 days at the start of the match, the second Test against West Indies, Masakadza batted 388 minutes and 316 balls for his 119, with Zimbabwe facing a first-innings deficit of 216. Zimbabwe declared on 563 for 6, and had rain not washed out the final day, they might even have squared the series. Masakadza was the seventh black African to play for Zimbabwe. And, until Mohammad Ashraful made his bow for Bangladesh later in the year, only Mushtaq Mohammad and Sachin Tendulkar had reached three figures in a Test at a younger age.

    1996
    One of the great England collapses. They had to bat out a day and a bit to draw the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's. At lunch on the final day they were one down and Ladbrokes had closed the book, with Mike Atherton and Alec Stewart looking untroubled. But then Atherton fell, and down England went like a bunch of drunks on a bouncy castle. They lost 7 for 18 in a fearful collapse, with Mushtaq Ahmed at his most mischievous and Waqar Younis feasting on the scraps. Graeme Hick was Waqar-ed twice in the match for 4 - and he was also given not-out wrongly off a bat-pad catch off Mushtaq in the second innings.

    1980
    As he lambasts batsmen from the Sky Sports commentary box, it's sometimes easy to forget that Bob Willis had a Test batting average of 11, but he did once save a Test with the willow. When Willis marched to the crease against West Indies at The Oval on this day, England were 92 for 9 in their second innings, just after lunch on the final day. Somehow he survived for almost three hours. He made 24 not out, Peter Willey his first Test hundred, and England saved a match that looked lost.

    1970
    John Rennie, a fast-medium swing bowler born today, played four Tests and 44 ODIs for Zimbabwe between 1993 and 2000. He averaged 46 for each of his 34 one-day wickets but was a useful batsman and fielder for the side. Business and family pressures, as well as disillusionment with the situation in Zimbabwe cricket, eventually caused him to fade out of the game in about 2002.

    1986
    England opener Dennis Amiss scored his 100th first-class hundred, for Warwickshire against Lancashire at Edgbaston.

    1963
    Born with two fingers missing on his right hand, Azeem Hafeez went on to bowl left-arm pace for Pakistan. He took 63 wickets in 18 Tests, the last in 1984-85, when he was still only 21.

    1972
    On this day England retained the Ashes, an achievement they would take 39 years to repeat. They did so with a nine-wicket win at Headingley, as Derek Underwood exploited a grassless, flooded, and much-criticised pitch to take 10 for 82 in the match. England's top scorers were the unlikely pair of Ray Illingworth (57) and John Snow (48), who effectively decided things with an eighth-wicket partnership of 104.

    1944
    New Zealand opening batsman Terry Jarvis was born. His highest Test score of 182 was made in a mammoth opening partnership of 387 with Glenn Turner in Georgetown in 1971-72. New Zealand drew the series despite losing the toss every time.

    2002
    Fast bowler Chamila Gamage became the first Sri Lankan (and 13th overall) to take a wicket from his first ball in Test cricket when he bowled Mohammad Ashraful in Colombo. Gamage, an Air Force recruit, took three in the match and played only one more Test, in Centurion later that year.

    1934
    To a Test cricketer, a son is born. Alfred Scott followed his father OC "Tommy" Scott into the West Indies team, but took 0 for 140 in his only Test.

    Other birthdays
    1933 Cammie Smith (West Indies)
    1966 Helen Davies (South Africa)
    1975 Lanka de Silva (Sri Lanka)
    1978 Emily Travers (New Zealand)

    ? ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

  3. #93
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    Cool July 30

    July 30 down the years

    Jimmy finds his mojo
    Birth of England fast bowler James Anderson
    James Anderson is also the first England bowler to 400 Test wickets

    1982
    Few rises have been as meteoric as birthday boy James Anderson's. In the summer of 2002 he was playing club cricket in Lancashire; by February 2003 he was bowling England to victory over Pakistan in the World Cup. By May he had taken five wickets on his Test debut, at Lord's. But he soon lost his bowling mojo and spent a frustrating winter on the fringes of the Test team, before coming back with six wickets in the historic Mumbai Test win of 2006. In 2008, as Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison faded, Anderson stepped up to take the mantle of England's spearhead. New Zealand were blown away at Trent Bridge (Anderson 7 for 43) and that was the start of a purple patch, during which he went on to earn a reputation as one of England's great bowlers. In July 2013 he passed Fred Trueman on England's all-time wicket-list during the first Test at Trent Bridge. He took 25 wickets in five Tests at home against India in 2014, and a year later surpassed Ian Botham as England's highest wicket-taker.

    1995
    In the first over of the fourth morning at Old Trafford, Dominic Cork became the first England player to take a Test hat-trick since Peter Loader in 1957. After bowling England to victory on debut at Lord's, Cork's wickets just kept coming, almost as quickly as the champagne puns kept flowing in the British press. Bowling wicket to wicket with a hint of movement, Cork bowled West Indies captain Richie Richardson off an inside edge, before trapping their wicketkeeper, Junior Murray, and Carl Hooper lbw. West Indies, who had resumed on their overnight 159 for 3, slumped to 161 for 6, and despite the best efforts of Brian Lara, who made a brilliant 145, they were unable to avoid a six-wicket defeat. For good measure, Cork had added a maiden half-century, 56 not out, in the first inning

    1914
    Suicide of the mighty Albert Trott. The first bowler to take eight wickets in an innings on his Test debut, he played for both Australia and England and is still the only man to hit a ball over the pavilion at Lord's.

    1947
    Death of the first great Caribbean batsman. After appearing against an England team in 1906, George Challenor played for the first official West Indies Test team, at Lord's in 1928, by which time he was only five days short of his 40th birthday.

    1989
    Birth of South Africa fast bowler Wayne Parnell. The left-arm quick captained his country at the 2008 Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia, where he led by example, taking 18 wickets - the most in the tournament - and scored useful runs in the middle-order to steer South Africa to the final. He made his ODI debut in 2009, and in the same year he took two five-wicket hauls. Parnell has been preferred for the limited-overs squads, but his Test career is yet to take off. He made a comeback to the Test team in 2014 against Australia, but that was after a gap of four years.

    1892
    Birth of the luckless Dr Roy Park. It's said that when his wife dropped her knitting at the MCG in 1920-21, she missed her husband's entire Test career as a batsman. He'd been kept up all night before his debut for Australia against England, and was dismissed by the only ball he faced in Test cricket.

    1889
    The tragic and painful death of Charlie Absolom. A batsman who scored 52 in his only Test for England, he was killed when a crane tipped a crate of sugar over him in Trinidad.

    1984
    Perth-born Dean Brownlie moved to New Zealand in 2009, qualifying to play for them through his Christchurch-born father Jim. A middle-order batsman, Brownlie made his first-class debut for Canterbury in the 2010-11 season. He made his international debut in a T20 against Pakistan in December 2010. He received his Test cap from Chris Harris in Bulawayo in 2011 and began well, scoring three half-centuries in his first six innings.

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    Default july 31

    July 31 down the years

    Laker's match
    Australia v the unstoppable force
    Jim Laker (second from right) was the first to take all ten wickets in an innings in Tests

    1956
    History was made at Old Trafford when Jim Laker took his 19th wicket in the fourth Test against Australia, including all ten wickets in the second innings. Laker had warmed up for his day of reckoning by taking 9 for 37 in Australia's first outing, the best return ever by an England bowler in Ashes cricket. In the second innings he was unstoppable, and when the last man, Len Maddocks, was trapped lbw, Laker had taken all ten wickets for 53 runs. No less astonishing was Tony Lock's 1 for 106 in 71.4 overs in the match. The Australians were said to be fuming about an Old Trafford pitch that had been deliberately underprepared to suit the spinners, but as their captain, Ian Johnson, said afterwards: "When the controversy and side issues of the match are forgotten, Laker's wonderful bowling will remain."

    1919
    Lieutenant-Colonel Hemu Adhikari was born. The Second World War delayed his Test debut until he was nearly 29 and his official army duties restricted his appearances to 21 of 47 Tests played in his time. A fine player of spin, he made up for a weakness against genuine pace with a large heart. He was in Indian teams that played inaugural Tests against Australia, West Indies and Pakistan, and his best performances came against these three teams. His only Test century came against West Indies in Delhi in 1948-49, while his 109-run stand with Ghulam Ahmed for the last wicket against Pakistan four years later was an Indian record that was only broken in 2004. After retirement he became a respected manager of Indian touring teams and was influential in shaping the careers of Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, Kapil Dev and Syed Kirmani, among others.

    1953
    Birth of the South African opener Jimmy Cook, who scored a whole shedload of runs for Somerset. Forced to wait till he was 39 for his first taste of Test cricket, he was out to his very first ball - from Kapil Dev - the opening delivery of a match against India in Durban in 1992-93. He played another two Tests before retiring, after which he captained Transvaal and turned his hand to coaching.

    1943
    Yorkshire's great slow left-armer Hedley Verity died in a prisoner-of-war camp in Italy. He set a world record by taking 10 for 10 against Notts, and in 1934 dismissed 14 batsmen in a day to give England their only win against Australia at Lord's in the 20th century.

    1973
    Fair-haired and full of flair, Frank Hayes scored a hundred on his Test debut on this day, against West Indies at The Oval. But nerves got in the way of his Test career, in which he never again scored more than 29, and he eventually averaged only 15.25. Hayes scored 34 runs off an over in 1977 and later taught maths and physics at Oakham School.

    1984
    England's first blackwash was in the post after West Indies went 4-0 up after four with an innings victory at Old Trafford. Gordon Greenidge smashed his second double-century of the series - he averaged over 100 in Old Trafford Tests - but it was Winston Davis who really put the boot in. Not content with creaming a career-best 77, he fractured Paul Terry's left arm with a short ball that didn't get up as Terry expected. Terry bravely returned to see Allan Lamb to a first-innings century - it was Lamb's third in as many Tests; not bad given the havoc being wreaked all around him.

    1975
    Birth of a cricketer who survived being shot at point-blank range. Andrew Hall took a bullet to his left hand as a mugger let fly six shots at him at an ATM late one night in 1998. The bullet lodged in his hand without causing serious damage but Hall recovered sufficiently to win a place in South Africa's one-day side against West Indies in 1999. During the 2003 England tour he cemented his position as a valuable member of the side, and in November 2004, opening for the first time, against India in Kanpur, plodded to 163 off 454 balls. Hall retired in 2007 after being excluded from South Africa's World T20 squad; he then joined Northamptonshire and signed up for the Indian Cricket League.

    1800
    Eton beat Winchester by an innings and 128 runs at Lord's. Thomas Lloyd top-scored with 81, but caught a chill from his exertions during the game and died shortly afterwards.

    1902
    Birth of "Gubby" Allen. Later Sir George Oswald Browning Allen, he took 21 wickets in 1932-33 without bowling Bodyline, captained England in the feverish 1936-37 series, and for many years was influential behind the scenes at Lord's.

    1912
    Australian opening batsman Bill Brown was born. Top of his Test achievements was an innings of 206, carrying his bat, at Lord's in 1938. He was controversially run out while backing up (in the original instance of "Mankading") against India in 1947-48.

    2014
    The end of a ten-match winless run. England sealed a 266-run victory over India in the third Test, in Southampton, to level the series 1-1 with two to play. They took the six remaining Indian wickets on the final day - with offspinner Moeen Ali bagging 6 for 67, his maiden Test five-for. The victory was doubly sweet for Alastair Cook, who was under pressure to step down after the defeat in the second Test, at Lord's. He rediscovered his batting form with two half-centuries and was backed up by his senior players - Bell, Broad, and Anderson - who played a big part in the victory.

    2015
    England win a three-day Ashes Test. On an Edgbaston pitch that was prepared with the aid of lamps usually used for the cultivation of cannabis, 27 wickets fell on the first two days. James Anderson and Steven Finn took six-fors, dismissing Australia for 136 and 265. England only managed 281 in their first innings, so they had to bat again, which allowed Ian Bell to score his second half-century of the match and give his side a 2-1 lead in the series.

    1982
    Fast bowler Blessing Mahwire, born today, was the first player from Zimbabwe's Masvingo province to play Test cricket, and turned out in ten matches between 2002 and 2006. Halfway through that period he managed a best of 4 for 92, after remodelling his action when the ICC reported it as suspect. He also worked as the chief of the Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers' Association.
    Other birthdays

    1916 Verdun "Scotty" Scott (New Zealand)
    1939 Roger Prideaux (England)
    1963 Davis Joseph (Canada)
    1968 Saeed Al-Saffar (United Arab Emirates)
    1975 Ashish Patel (Canada)

    ? ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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    August 1 down the years
    Captain extraordinaire


    Birth of the classy Frank Worrell

    Frank Worrell (left): a charismatic captain




    1924
    One of the great cricketing men is born. A stylish batsman of the highest class, Frank Worrell was the first black player to captain West Indies on a regular basis, including on the 1963 tour of England, which they won 3-1, and the famous 1960-61 series in Australia. West Indies and Australia now play for the Sir Frank Worrell Trophy. The 1950 tour of England was a personal triumph for Worrell, who topped the Test batting averages with 539 runs at an average of 89.83. He also made his best Test score, 261, that year at Trent Bridge. He was knighted in 1964 and was a senator in Jamaica when he died at 42 of leukemia; he was honoured with a memorial service in Westminster Abbey.


    1989
    The last day England held the Ashes for more than 16 years. Australia's win at Old Trafford gave them a 3-0 lead in the series. At the start of a forgettable day for English cricket, a 16-man squad for a lucrative rebel tour of South Africa was announced. Nine had appeared in that summer's Ashes series, and three had captained England. One of them, John Emburey, almost saved this Test, adding 142 in four hours with Jack Russell, who made his first Test hundred.


    1969
    England's premier batsman of his era, Graham Thorpe, was born. He showed he was made of the right stuff from the start, scoring a century on Test debut, against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1993. A batsman whose performances transcended statistics, Thorpe seized countless initiatives with his resourceful counterattacks. Throughout the 1990s, England's sporadic victories bore his stamp: Bridgetown 1993-94, The Oval 1994, Adelaide 1994-95, Old Trafford 1995, and Edgbaston 1997, when he added 288 with his old mate Nasser Hussain as England thrashed Australia. Thorpe's finest moment was in Colombo in 2000-01, when he made 113 and 32 - both not out - as England sealed a famous series victory. But in 2002 his career reached crisis point when his marriage crumbled in view of the tabloids, leading him to announce his retirement from one-day cricket and take an indefinite break from all forms of the game. He returned in 2003, and was a vital part of England's plans in their rout of West Indies in 2003-04 and their whitewash of New Zealand a few months later. He eventually retired after not being picked for the 2005 Ashes.


    1978
    An attacking Zimbabwean allrounder is born. Andy Blignaut returned the best figures by a Zimbabwean on Test debut - 5 for 73 in Bulawayo in April 2001. He was an asset with his aggressive lower-order hitting to go with his pace bowling, but his career stalled in 2001-02 amid reports of disputes with administrators and fellow players. He pursued a number of lines of employment, including, briefly, modelling. In his return match, late in 2002, he claimed 5 for 79 against Pakistan. His career suffered yet another setback when he joined 14 rebel players in the standoff with the Zimbabwe board in 2004, and was ultimately sacked. He returned briefly the following year but took part in another strike before leaving to play for Lions in South Africa. In early 2010, Blignaut made yet another return, along with several former players who came back to the Zimbabwe fold.


    1910
    India's first lethal pace bowler is born. Mohammad Nissar could swing and cut the ball with verve, and he had genuine speed. Nissar's partnership upfront with Amar Singh was as legendary as it was successful. In India's maiden Test, at Lord's in 1932, he plunged the England innings into disarray by knocking over the stumps of Holmes and Sutcliffe. On that trip Nissar grabbed 71 wickets at 18.09 to head the averages. Against the Australians on their tour of India in the winter of 1935, he took 32 wickets in four "Tests" at 13 runs apiece. On his final tour of England, Nissar departed the Test scene with a devastating spell that yielded four wickets in five overs.


    1931
    South African allrounder Trevor Goddard was born. He is remembered for leading South Africa to a draw in the series against Australia in 1963-64 after he had become captain virtually by default and his team had been described as no-hopers by the media in both countries. He hit a captain's century against England in Johannesburg in 1964-65 and took a wicket with his last ball in Test cricket, against Australia on the same ground in 1969-70. A left-hander of classically correct technique with bat and ball, Goddard was renowned for analysing opponents' strengths and weaknesses with uncanny accuracy and speed. He became an evangelist preacher after retirement.


    1993
    England won the women's World Cup for the first time since the inaugural tournament of 1973 (see July 28). In the final at Lord's, the opener Janette Brittin top-scored with 48 in a 67-run victory over New Zealand.


    1935
    Geoff Pullar, born today, started as a middle-order batsman, but his solid technique and phlegmatic temperament persuaded the England selectors to try him as an opener in 1959. He responded with 75 against India at Headingley, followed by 131 at Old Trafford - the first Test century scored by a Lancastrian on his home ground. Pullar withstood the West Indian fast bowlers calmly and successfully in 1959-60, but his form fell away in the latter part of his international career. He played the last of his 28 Tests in 1963.


    1955
    Born today, Arun Lal was an opener who played 16 Tests for India between 1982 and 1989. While he piled up runs in domestic cricket, Lal got few chances in Tests as he competed for a spot alongside Sunil Gavaskar with Kris Srikkanth, Anshuman Gaekwad and Ravi Shastri. Summoned for a Test call-up against Sri Lanka in 1982 at the relatively late age of 27, he responded with 63 in his debut innings. In 1987, he got a chance to play in his adopted hometown, Calcutta, when Gavaskar pulled out. Lal made two half-centuries, and following Gavaskar's retirement, he made 11 successive Test appearances. After retirement, he became a television commentator.


    1961
    On the last day at Old Trafford, Richie Benaud went round the wicket to bowl a famous spell of 5 for 12 that destroyed England, who had looked in command, to help retain the Ashes.


    1983
    At Headingley, New Zealand won a Test in England for the first time. Lance Cairns took ten - which included a career-best 7 for 74 - and Ewen Chatfield six to bowl England out for under 260 twice. That set up a target of 103 for New Zealand but Bob Willis gave them some jitters by taking five early wickets; this was the match in which he became the fourth man to take 300 Test wickets.


    1952
    Birth of Yajurvindra Singh. Playing for India against England in Bangalore in 1976-77, he equalled a world record by taking five catches in an innings.


    1934
    Birth of unlucky John Beck. Playing for New Zealand against South Africa in Cape Town in 1953-54, he was run out for 99 - and never did make a Test hundred.


    1861
    Birth of Sammy Jones. The last survivor of the original "Ashes" Test of 1882, he died in 1951. His unsporting run-out by WG Grace inspired the Australians to their sensational win. On his third England tour in 1888 he survived a bout of smallpox.


    Other birthdays
    1856 George Coulthard (Australia)
    1857 John Harry (Australia)
    1900 Otto Nothling (Australia)
    1940 Mervyn Kitchen (England)
    1961 Mike Watkinson (England)
    1966 Ganesh Mylvaganam (United Arab Emirates)
    1972 Maqsood Rana (Pakistan)
    1973 Ben Johnson (Australia)




    ? ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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    August 2 down the years

    England are Biffed The Lord's Test of 2003 belonged to one Graeme Smith

    Graeme Smith brought England to their knees at Lord's

    2003
    Graeme Smith proved a point or two when he led South Africa from the front with a blistering double-century in the second Test against England, at Lord's. England managed only 173 in the first innings, destroyed by Makhaya Ntini. Smith then pounded the English bowlers into submission with 259 and South Africa ended up winning the Test with ease


    1981
    Australia needed only 151 to win at Edgbaston - but Ian Botham was lying in wait again. After his heroics with the bat at Headingley, he engineered another astonishing finish by taking five wickets for one run. England's narrow win put them 2-1 up in "Botham's Ashes".

    1977
    In Botham's Test debut and Geoff Boycott's comeback, England completed their first win over Australia at Trent Bridge since 1930. After a painstaking hundred in the first innings, Boycott was unbeaten on 80 when England took a 2-0 lead on their way to regaining the Ashes.

    1985
    Against Australia at Old Trafford, David Gower scored his 5000th run in Test cricket. Although the match was drawn, this was the blond man's golden summer. Captain of a team that regained the Ashes 3-1, he scored 732 runs at an average of 81.33.


    2010
    Death of Eric Tindill just over five months short of what would have been his 100th birthday. Tindill, who represented New Zealand in cricket and rugby, became the oldest Test cricketer on November 8, 2009, when he overtook Francis MacKinnon's record of 98 years and 324 days. Tindill played 69 first-class matches for Wellington and five Tests either side of the Second World War.


    1970
    West Indies' hair-raising opening batsman Philo Wallace was born. In his one successful series, against England in 1997-98, he scored 61 and 92 (his only Test fifties) and shared some spectacular stands with Clayton Lambert.


    2000
    Sri Lanka needed only 177 runs to take a winning 2-0 lead in Kandy. But South Africa took their last four wickets for eight runs to win the match by just seven. A draw in the third Test left the series level.


    1966
    Birth of MV Sridhar, known as "Doc" in Indian cricket circles, whose innings of 366 for Hyderabad v Andhra Pradesh in 1993-94 is the third-highest first-class score by an Indian.


    1887
    Top-class South African wicketkeeper Tommy Ward was born. In a 12-year Test career he made 32 dismissals, including 13 stumpings, and added some useful runs, including two fifties. Mind you, he didn't look much of a batsman on his debut, in a Triangular Tournament match against Australia at Old Trafford in 1912. When Jimmy Matthews achieved the unique feat in Test cricket of taking a hat-trick in each innings, Ward was the third victim each time, making a golden pair on his Test debut.


    1895
    Birth of Matthew Henderson. In New Zealand's inaugural Test, against England in 1929-30, he took a wicket with his first ball: opener Eddie Dawson caught by New Zealand captain Tom Lowry. The wicket of the gifted Duleepsinhji was Henderson's second and last: he played in only this one Test
    .
    1958
    India's utility man Arshad Ayub was born. An offspinner who relied more on accuracy than turn, and a useful late-order batsman, Ayub played against West Indies (against whom, in his first Test, he took four of the five wickets to fall in the second innings), New Zealand and Pakistan in a career that lasted a little over two years. His top moment in ODIs was bowling India to victory against Pakistan in the Asia Cup final in Dhaka in 1988 with a spell of 5 for 21


    Birth of Mohammad Zahid, who became the first, and so far only, Pakistani to take ten wickets on Test debut when he took 11 against New Zealand in Rawalpindi in 1996. Four Tests later, he was out with a back injury he picked up in his second series, in Sri Lanka, and never played at the highest level again.
    Other birthdays


    1928 Malcolm Hilton (England)
    1931 Eddie Fuller (South Africa)
    1973 Danie Keulder (Namibia)
    1975 Kate Lowe (England)
    1979 Darren Pattinson (England)
    1981 Tim Murtagh (Ireland]


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    Aug.3rd Down The Year




    Atherton and Stewart at the start of their 100th Test




    2000
    The first day of Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart's 100th Test, played at Old Trafford, Atherton's home ground. In a day shortened by rain, Stewart took a catch behind the wicket. The following day he became the fourth batsman to score a hundred in his 100th Test (after Colin Cowdrey, Javed Miandad and Gordon Greenidge) and the only one to do it on the Queen Mother's 100th birthday.


    1985
    The Old Trafford Test against Australia was drawn and a little dull - but Mike Gatting will remember it fondly. In his 40th Test innings in England, he scored his first hundred at home - and turned it into a big one, reaching 160 against an opening attack of Geoff Lawson and Craig McDermott.




    1956
    Birth of a World Cup winner. Balwinder Singh Sandhu was part of the battery of medium-pacers who brought India their surprise win in the 1983 World Cup final. Sandhu took the first West Indies wicket by bowling Gordon Greenidge for 1.


    1998
    The Oval staged the first competitive match to be played under floodlights in London, which prompted Christopher Martin-Jenkins to write: "The surprise, perhaps, is that it has taken English cricket so long to appreciate that even in a fickle climate the idea of playing at night, so successful overseas since Kerry Packer set the trend in 1978, was feasible here too." But what remained unfeasible was Surrey lifting their poor form in the 40-over tournament. They lost to Sussex by eight wickets.


    1937
    Birth of Duncan Sharpe. One of the few Christians to play for Pakistan, he scored 56 and 35 on his Test debut, against Australia (where he later emigrated) in 1959-60.


    1925
    Death by drowning of William Bruce. The first left-hand Australian batsman to tour England, in 1886, his highest Test score was an attractive 80 against England in Adelaide in 1894-95.


    1986
    Death of one of the longest-lived first-class cricketers. Rupert de Smidt, 102, had played for Western Province just before the First World War.


    1975
    Birth of New Zealand wicketkeeper Chris Nevin, who played 37 ODIs between 2000 and 2003. He scored a lively 74 when opening against Australia in 1999-2000, but was not used after moderate scores in South Africa later in 2000. Although ignored for the 2003 World Cup, Nevin was offered another chance to establish a longer-term place for himself as one half of New Zealand's one-day international opening-batting combination. He failed to seize the opportunity, however, continuing to play domestic cricket. In 2009 he became only the fourth player from Wellington to reach 100 first-class matches.


    Other birthdays
    1960 Gopal Sharma (India)
    1939 AK Sengupta (India)
    1933 Pat Crawford (Australia)
    1855 Joe Hunter (England)


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    August 4 down the years


    The bare necessitie


    "It's a freaker!"


    The day a streaker stormed the Home of Cricket




    1975
    The day Michael Angelow entered cricket history. The second Test between England and Australia at Lord's was drifting towards stalemate and the hot sun had left the crowd snoozing when Angelow, a ship's cook, fuelled by five hours in the Tavern, removed his clothes on a bet and headed towards the square. The bemused players stopped and smiled as he athletically hurdled the stumps at the Nursery End before sauntering off to the Mound Stand, where he was arrested. He was subsequently fined ?10 by a magistrate's court *- the same amount that his bet had earned him. On the BBC's Test Match Special, the legendary radio commentator John Arlott showed he hadn't quite grasped what this new phenomenon was called, shouting gleefully, "It's a freaker."


    1886
    In a club match at Hampstead, Andrew Stoddart broke the world record for the highest individual score at the time, making 485 against the Stoics. Stoddart had not been to bed the night before, playing cards until dawn and then going for a swim to freshen up. And even after his innings he was still fired up, opting for a game of tennis, a meal and then the theatre.




    1976
    Another first at Lord's, when women were allowed to play on the main square for the first time. England won the limited-overs match against Australia by eight wickets, and media attention was considerable. However, the MCC didn't allow women into the pavilion (although they made an exception for the players). That was to take another 22 years.


    2001
    A record seven in a row for Australia, who regained the Ashes with victory at Trent Bridge. Chasing 158 to win, the Aussies were wobbling slightly at 89 for 3, effectively 89 for 4 as Steve Waugh had been stretchered off (to widespread laughter and merriment). The icy manner in which Mark Waugh and Damien Martyn closed the deal - adding 70 in 11 overs without breaking sweat - shut everyone up.


    1994
    In his first innings for England since he'd been caught with dirt in his pocket, Mike Atherton ground out a bloody-minded 99 against South Africa at Headingley. In a way, it was more memorable because he fell just short of the fairy-tale century, when he was caught-and-bowled by Brian McMillan. The day was also memorable for another comeback innings: a blistering 72 from Graham Thorpe, who shoved aside the nonsense of his omission for the summer's first four Tests with the first of the roasting counterattacks that he would go on to patent. Thorpe's innings turned the series. Thrashed in the first Test, England, Atherton included, had been on the back foot until Thorpe came to the crease. Once he got going, they never looked back, and pummelled South Africa to square the series in the final Test at The Oval.


    1967
    Death of Essex legspinner Peter Smith. After receiving a hoax telegram telling him to report for a Test match in 1933, he finally played in his first 13 years later. He took only three wickets in his four Tests but achieved his own brand of fame: as the last player with a moustache to be capped by England until Graham Gooch in 1975.


    1902
    Birth of Clarence Passailague, who played one Test for West Indies but is best remembered for an unbroken partnership of 487 with the great George Headley for Jamaica against Lord Tennyson's XI in 1931-32. Passailaigue made 260 not out in what is still the highest sixth-wicket stand in first-class cricket.


    1919
    Death of the first winning captain in international cricket. Dave Gregory led Australia to victory in the very first Test, against England in 1876-77. His brother Ned, who won his only cap in the same match, was the first player to make a duck in Test cricket.


    1931
    Wicketkeeper Narendra Tamhane was born. One of the best to play for India, he made five dismissals in his debut Test, against Pakistan in 1954-55, and went on to play in 21 Tests, making 51 dismissals, including 16 stumpings.


    1927
    Fast-medium bowler Maurice Allom took eight wickets for Free Foresters, including a batsman called Hamburger, to dismiss North Holland for 77 and win the match by an innings and one run. Allom later took 14 wickets in five Tests for England, four of them in five balls on his debut, including a hat-trick, against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1929-30. It was New Zealand's first Test match.


    1979
    South African left-arm spinner Robin Peterson, born today, holds the dubious honour of being the bowler off whom Brian Lara took a record 28 runs off an over in the Johannesburg Test of 2003. Apart from a Test five-for against Bangladesh in 2008, Peterson struggled, and Paul Harris and Johan Botha took the spinners' spots. Peterson signed with Derbyshire as a Kolpak not expecting to return to South African colours, but he played the 2011 World Cup, where he produced a match-winning innings against India, three wickets against England, and ended the tournament as South Africa's leading wicket-taker.


    Other birthdays
    1825 Arthur Haygarth (England)
    1865 Gus Kempis (South Africa)
    1970 Steven Jack (South Africa)
    1980 Richard Dawson (England)


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    August 5 down the years


    Garry Sobers lights up Headingley


    The unstoppable Garry Sobers




    1966
    A hundred between lunch and tea by Garry Sobers set up the victory at Headingley that fetched West Indies the honours in a series he dominated with bat, ball and coin. He scored 722 runs at 103.14, took 20 wickets, and won all five tosses. In this match, Sobers took a five-for that forced England to follow on. In the second innings he took three more but it was Lance Gibbs, who did most of the damage, taking his best figures against England - 6 for 39. According to Wisden, Gibbs used "pace and skillful variations of flight rather than prodigious spin".


    2013
    The day when England retained the urn. They held on to the Ashes after Manchester's weather proved a far more impassable barrier to Australia's bowlers than the hosts' top order batting on a grey final day at Old Trafford. The end came in anti-climactic circumstances, when it was announced that play had been abandoned at 4.39pm local time. The only previous time England knew they had possession of the Ashes after the third Test of a series of five Tests or more was in 1928-29, when Percy Chapman's side actually won the first four matches of the series down under, before losing the last game.




    1933
    Records tumbled at Hove where Ted Bowley (283) and John Langridge (195) added 490 for Sussex's first wicket against Middlesex, the home side ending the day on 512 for 3. Bowley was 44 and in his final season with the county.


    1993


    On his first day as England captain, Mike Atherton top-scored with 72 at Edgbaston,* but it was soon the same old story as Australia went on to win the Test.


    1965
    A superb innings of 125 by Graeme Pollock, full of classical strokes still shown on television today, set South Africa on the way to winning the Trent Bridge Test and eventually the series - their last in England for 29 years. His brother Peter shone with the ball, taking ten in the match, including dismissing Geoff Boycott and Ken Barrington for 0 and 1 which meant England ended day one on 16 for 2.


    1969
    Birth of Indian pace bowler Venkatesh Prasad, who was often Javagal Srinath's partner with the new ball. Prasad took five wickets in each innings against South Africa in Durban in 1996-97, and his five victims in a World Cup match against Pakistan at Old Trafford in 1999 were all big names - Saleem Malik, Saeed Anwar, Moin Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Wasim Akram. After retirement, Prasad took up the role of bowling coach for the Indian team and featured in successes of the sort that he didn't enjoy during his caeer - series wins in England and New Zealand. He was axed, though, after India's disappointing performances in the World T20 and the Champions Trophy in 2009.


    1969
    Birth of the late-blooming Vasbert Drakes. An indifferent start to his international career consigned him to seven years in county cricket and on the domestic circuit in South Africa, but he returned at the age of 33. Tall, nippy and useful down the order, Drakes shone early in his comeback, taking 16 wickets in his first three Tests. His most memorable performance was a spunky, unbeaten 27 against Australia in Antigua that steered his team to victory in a record chase.


    1972
    Pace bowler Aaqib Javed was born. He played in his first one-day international at 16, made his Test debut at 17, and helped Pakistan beat England in the 1992 World Cup final, in which he conceded only 27 runs in 10 overs and took the wickets of Alec Stewart and Neil Fairbrother. His 7 for 37 against India in Sharjah in 1991-92 was an ODI record at the time. Aaqib took up coaching after retirement and had assisting roles with the Pakistan side from 2009 to 2012, after which he signed a three-year deal to coach the UAE national team.


    1866
    Successful Test captain Harry Trott was born. He led Australia to a 4-1 win over England in 1897-98. His only Test century was a heroic knock, 143 at Lord's in 1896 after Australia had been dismissed for only 53 in the first innings. He also took 29 wickets and 21 catches in his 24 Tests. His flamboyant brother Albert also played Test cricket.


    1944
    Double international Maurice Turnbull died on this day. He scored some valuable Test runs for England, including his only fifty, 61 in Johannesburg in 1930-31. He was also an international rugby scrum-half, one of seven new caps who helped Wales beat England in 1933.


    1961
    Birth of Athula Samarasekera, who kicked off his one-day and Test careers with ducks (though he made an aggressive half-century in the second innings of his first Test). Too often he was dismissed when he seemed set to dominate the bowling. When he did score it was worth watching as he provided entertainment with his aggressive style. Never able to fully establish a permanent position in the team, Samarasekera ended his international career by deciding to take up professional cricket in Bangladesh.


    1991
    Birth of Bangladesh offspinner Sohag Gazi, who started his Test career with a nine-wicket haul against West Indies in Dhaka in 2012. A year later in Chittagong, Gazi became the first cricketer to score a hundred and take a hat-trick in a Test. But the elation didn't last long. In October 2014, Gazi was suspended from bowling after being reported for a suspect action. He modified it and was cleared by the ICC in February 2015.




    Other birthdays
    1920 Winifred Leech (England)
    1962 Richard de Groen (New Zealand)
    1973 Sanwar Hossain (Bangladesh)
    1981 Alester Maregwede (Zimbabwe)
    1992 Abul Hasan (Bangladesh)




    ? ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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    August 6 down the years


    Ryder on the storm


    Birth of a talented but troubled New Zealand batsman


    Between drinking and behaviour problems, Ryder lit up Test grounds with his attacking strokeplay




    1984
    Jesse Ryder, born today, has often found himself in trouble. He made his senior international debut in 2008, a few months after telling the selectors he wasn't available for the A team's tour of Australia, and blossomed immediately, averaging 49 in five ODIs against England, and 91 in his second Test, against Bangladesh. He got his maiden Test and one-day centuries against India, and a Test double-hundred too. Ryder's career has been dogged with accusations of bad behaviour and frustrating injuries. In 2012 he chose to take an indefinite break from cricket after being dropped for drinking while undergoing injury rehabilitation. He didn't get a New Zealand contract that year, but he got one from Wellington. He worked hard, got fitter, got therapy, boxed a little, came back to domestic cricket, and just when it seemed he was approaching a happy space, he was assaulted brutally outside a suburban Christchurch bar in March 2013. He recovered and returned to playing competitive cricket seven months later. He was named in the Test squad to play the visiting Indians in 2014-15 but was dropped after missing a team curfew, and he was also left out of the 2015 World Cup.


    1997
    Sanath Jayasuriya's date with destiny. He woke on 326 not out, within 50 of the highest score in Test history, against India in Colombo. But he added only 14 before he fell to Rajesh Chauhan for 340. There were a few other records, though: Sri Lanka stormed to 952 for 6 - the highest score in Test history - and Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama batted throughout two full days' play. In all, they added 576, a record for any Test wicket, which stood for nine years until Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara added 624 against South Africa in 2006. Pity poor Indian spinner Nilesh Kulkarni. He nabbed Marvan Atapattu with his first ball in Test cricket - and ended with figures of 70-12-195-1. Some consolation for Indian fans were centuries by Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin and Navjot Sidhu.




    2016
    A 229-run win inside three days in Galle gave Sri Lanka an unassailable 2-0 series lead and their first series win against Australia in 17 years. Australia?s frailties against spin were exposed for the second match in succession. Here they succumbed to Dilruwan Perera - who finished with ten wickets and scored a fifty - and Rangana Herath, who also claimed a hat-trick. It was a remarkable win for Sri Lanka, given they had won only one of their previous six Test series before taking on Australia, the No. 1 Test team. For the visitors it was their eighth consecutive loss in Tests in Asia and their fifth defeat in their last six series on the continent.




    1998
    Lucky numbers for Mark Butcher, who scored his maiden Test hundred in his 13th Test, against South Africa at Headingley. It was a vital contribution: England won by only 23 runs to take the series 2-1.


    1999
    The day Peter Such got a standing ovation - for a duck. Such had survived 51 balls and 72 minutes against New Zealand at Old Trafford - and helped Mark Ramprakash add 31 - but his reception summed up the desperate, almost blackly comic, mood of English cricket. Rarely has it got any lower than this. England didn't lose this Test, but their first-innings 199 came off a buttock-clenching 109.1 overs, and then New Zealand took 496 pieces of candy off a desperate England attack. Rain gave England a reprieve... but only for two weeks. Thirteen days later, at a dark, dank Oval, England lost the match, the series - and became the worst team in the world according to the Wisden World Championship table.


    2011
    Norman Gordon became the first Test cricketer to usher in his 100th birthday. Gordon, a South African fast bowler, played in the famous timeless Test in Durban in 1938-39, which lasted ten days before play was called off so that the England team could catch the ship back home. Gordon played all five Tests in that series, his only one, and took 20 wickets. New Zealand's Eric Tindill was the only other Test cricketer to live past 99.


    1969
    An injury-plagued swing bowler is born. Simon Doull's frequent troubles with his back and knee brought a premature end to his career. He'll be most remembered for setting up New Zealand's four-wicket win over India in Wellington in 1998, when he bagged the first seven wickets to fall in the Indian innings, to finish with 7 for 65. Doull made his last international appearance in March 2000 and turned to television commentary later in the decade.


    1953
    Birth of Pakistan's most successful left-arm spinner, Iqbal Qasim. Often partnering Abdul Qadir, Qasim took 171 wickets in 50 Tests, including a ten-wicket haul against Australia in 1980 in Karachi, which set the stage for a series win. His bowling proved miserly, and he has among the best economy rates for Pakistani bowlers with over 50 Test wickets.


    1896
    The 48-year-old WG Grace completed the last of his three triple-hundreds, scoring 301 for Gloucestershire against Sussex in Bristol. He batted almost two days for his runs, and then chipped in with 4 for 23 in Sussex's second innings to wrap up the match.


    1994
    In a drawn match at Headingley, South Africa's Peter Kirsten scored his only Test century, at the age of 39. His half-brother Gary Kirsten was also in the team. The next Test, at The Oval, which England won to square the series, was Peter's last.


    1985
    A captain's innings of 146 not out by Allan Border saved Australia from defeat at Old Trafford. England had taken a lead of 225 in the first innings: Mike Gatting made 160 and David Gower scored his 5000th run in Test cricket. Craig McDermott, playing his sixth Test, took 8 for 141.


    1966
    Opening batsman Peter Lashley took the ball and dismissed Geoff Boycott with his third delivery in Test cricket, the only wicket he took for West Indies, whose win at Headingley sealed the series.


    1979
    Ian Botham took his 100th Test wicket only two years and nine days after making his debut when Mike Brearley took a superb left-handed slip catch to remove Sunil Gavaskar in the second Test at Lord's. It was at the time the fastest century of Test wickets, but the record only lasted five months - Kapil Dev raced to the same landmark in just one year and 105 days.


    1933
    Birth of Indian batsman Kripal Singh, who scored 100 not out in his debut Test innings, against New Zealand in 1955-56 but managed only another 322 runs in the rest of his 14-Test career.


    Other birthdays
    1947 Tony Dell (Australia)
    1965 Vince Wells (England)
    1971 Piyal Wijetunge (Sri Lanka)


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    August 7 down the years


    Cliffhanger of the century


    Andrew Flintoff consoled Brett Lee after England sneaked home by just two runs




    2005
    The nerve-shredder to end all nerve-shredders, and the culmination of one of the closest and greatest Tests of all time. Despite a brilliant all-round performance from Andrew Flintoff, the fourth day dawned with Australia needing 107 more runs with two wickets standing. Shane Warne and Brett Lee reduced the requirement to double figures before Lee and Michael Kasprowicz added 59 of the most heroic tail-end runs in history. A sense of grim inevitability enveloped a previously buoyant ground, but there was one late twist in store. Steve Harmison crashed a desperate bouncer into Kasprowicz's glove, and Geraint Jones took a tumbling catch behind the stumps to seal a series-turning two-run victory. The defining image belonged to Flintoff, who broke off the celebrations to console a crestfallen Lee, whose unbeaten 43 had been an innings of extreme heroism.


    1948
    Birth of one of the great Test batsmen. Greg Chappell's 7110 Test runs were scored at an average of 53.86 and with a smoothness that disguised his competitive steel. His on-drive was one of the great shots. He and his brother Ian both captained Australia with plenty of success; Greg scored twin centuries on his captaincy debut, and among the major highlights of his career were his two SuperTest centuries in Trinidad and Guyana (he made 621 runs in five games) against an attack that included Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft, Joel Garner and Wayne Daniel. After retirement he went into coaching - his most notable stint was his stormy tenure with the Indian national team in the mid-2000s.


    1971
    Feisty England seamer Dominic Cork was born. He took 7 for 43 in his debut Test, at Lord's, against West Indies in 1995, and his hat-trick later in the series was the first by an England bowler in a Test since Peter Loader's in 1957.


    1987
    Master batsman Javed Miandad completed one of his six double-centuries in Test cricket. During his 260 at The Oval he became the first to score 6000 Test runs for Pakistan, whose total of 708, their highest ever, was more than enough to draw the match and clinch the series.


    1973
    Death of a great allrounder. Jack Gregory's fast bowling terrorised England's batsmen in the early 1920s - and he still holds two major Test records: a century in 70 minutes in Johannesburg in 1921-22, and 15 catches in the 1920-21 series against England.


    2010
    India successfully chased 257 - their fourth-highest Test target at the time - largely thanks to VVS Laxman's unbeaten century, scored under pressure and with a back injury. The win helped India draw the series against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval. They looked shaky when they fell to 62 for 4 on the final day, but Laxman's 109-run stand with Sachin Tendulkar steadied them. After Tendulkar's dismissal, Suresh Raina provided the support Laxman needed to see India through.


    1980
    Birth of Zimbabwe batsman Dion Ebrahim, who made his Test debut in 2001. After a shaky start, he made three scores of 71 in the space of four Tests and followed that with 94 against India in 2002. In the turmoil that followed the sacking of Heath Streak in 2004, Ebrahim was made vice-captain, but he was a high-profile casualty of the dispute between players and the board at the end of 2005. He left to play club cricket in England but returned to domestic cricket in Zimbabwe in 2009.


    1986
    The first Bangladeshi to have his name on the Lord's honours board is born. Shahadat Hossain was a promising fast bowler with a smooth run-up and open-chested action. His Test debut at Lord's in 2005 was a chastening experience - he conceded 101 runs in just 12 overs - but his second visit in 2010, when he nabbed 5 for 98, was a memorable affair. Hossain was also the first Bangladeshi to take a hat-trick in ODIs, which he achieved against Zimbabwe in 2006.


    1879
    One of South Africa's fastest bowlers was born. JJ "Kodgee" Kotze took only six Test wickets at 40.50, but most of the bowling was done by googly bowlers at the time. His long run-up and strong body action frightened a lot of batsmen, and he could maintain his pace for long spells. He took a hat-trick twice, and 8 for 18 for Western Province v Griqualand West in 1902-03.


    1937
    England slow left-armer Don Wilson was born. He played in only six Tests (1963-64 to 1970-71) but took 1189 first-class wickets before becoming the MCC's head coach at Lord's.

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    August 8 down the years


    A New Zealand star


    Kane Williamson is born


    Kane Williamson began with a century on Test debut




    1990
    Birth of talented young New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, who made a century on Test debut in Ahmedabad in 2010. He got another half-century in the next Test in Hyderabad, and a year later, when Zimbabwe bowled out New Zealand for 252, Williamson's 68, which lasted more than three hours, was key in his side avoiding an embarrassing defeat. He also made a match-saving hundred against a strong South African attack, this time batting five and a half hours for an unbeaten 102. He racked up 413 runs in three Tests against West Indies in 2014, including a second-innings 161 in the third Test in Providence that helped his side secure a rare away series win. Later that year he made 192 in a 297-run stand with Brendon McCullum that helped square the series in the UAE against Pakistan. And three innings later he made a career-best 242 not out, in the second innings, and added a record 365 runs with BJ Watling for the sixth wicket, against Sri Lanka in Wellington. In 2016, Williamson took over the New Zealand captaincy after Brendon McCullum retired.


    2015
    England regained the Ashes with an innings-and-78-run win at Trent Bridge in just over two days, marking a unbelievable turnaround after they were drubbed 5-0 in Australia in 2013-14. The match was all but won in the opening session on day one when Stuart Broad's 8 for 15 sent Australia crashing to 60 in 18.3 overs - the shortest first innings in Test history. Joe Root (130) and Jonny Bairstow (74) rubbed it in and England declared with a lead of 331. A two-day finish looked probable when Ben Stokes took a five-wicket haul to reduce Australia to 241 for 7 in their second innings, but England eventually wrapped it up early on the third day. It was Alastair Cook's second consecutive Ashes series win at home as captain. Australia's under-fire captain, Michael Clarke, announced that the fifth Test at The Oval would be his last international match.


    1965
    Birth of one of England's prime seam bowlers Angus Fraser. Even after a major hip operation had reduced his pace and hostility, he twice took eight wickets in a Test innings in the West Indies. His first Test victim was Steve Waugh, who Fraser dismissed for the first time in the 1989 series after Waugh scored 393 runs. Big Gus finished with 177 Test wickets and only injury stopped him reaching the 200 he'd set his sights on.


    1987
    At long last, Pakistan's innings of 708 at The Oval came to an end. The highest in their Test history, it made sure of a draw and a 1-0 win in the series. England were in the field for more than two days, bowling 220.3 overs, with Ian Botham taking 3 for 217.


    1988
    The end of another West Indian thrashing for England. They avoided a third consecutive blackwash, but a 4-0 scoreline brooks no argument. In this final Test, at The Oval, Graham Gooch's first as captain, England took a first-innings lead after a storming display from Neil Foster, but they couldn't finish it off. It's not hard to see why - this really was a motley English crew, including Messrs Curtis, Bailey, Maynard, Capel, Richards and Childs. You don't beat Viv Richards and Co with that little lot.


    1940
    Birth of Dilip Sardesai, whose stubbornness served India best in the Caribbean in 1970-71, when his three Test centuries included a career-best 212 in Kingston. He averaged 80.25 as India won the series 1-0. In England in 1971, Sardesai's pivotal double of 54 and 40 allowed Bhagwath Chandrasekhar to hasten England's defeat at The Oval. Sardesai was limpet-like and usually defensive, but he could attack when he needed to, and scored one of India's fastest hundreds, against New Zealand in Delhi in 1964-65. He died in Mumbai in 2007.


    1909
    Birth of Bill Voce, Harold Larwood's henchman in the 1932-33 Bodyline series, and heroic mainstay of the attack in 1936-37, when he took 17 wickets in the first two Tests, before Don Bradman turned a 2-0 deficit into a unique 3-2 win. Big Bill returned to Australia in 1946-47, but he was past his best and took 0 for 161 in his final two Tests.


    1889
    Jack Ryder, the first batsman to score six consecutive Test fifties, was born. His unbeaten 201 against England in Adelaide in 1924-25 is one of the great knocks of all time. Australia won by just 11 runs to take a winning 3-0 lead in the series. He was the losing captain in the 1928-29 Ashes series.


    1914
    At the age of 66, WG Grace played his last match in club cricket, for Eltham at home to Northbrook. In an anticlimactic end for such a colossus, he didn't bat or bowl and the match ended in a draw.


    1977
    Pakistan's Mohammad Wasim, born today, shot to fame as a 19-year-old with 109 on debut against New Zealand in December 1997. That hundred earned him an extended run in the side, but there followed a string of low scores, punctuated by 192 against Zimbabwe in Harare. After back-to-back failures against Sri Lanka in 2000, he was dropped; his one-day career followed a similar trajectory. In 2002-03 he signed for Otago to play domestic cricket there.


    1973
    Birth of Shane Lee, the older brother of Brett, who made a memorable debut when he hit a 27-ball 39 in Australia's win over West Indies in an ODI in Adelaide in 1995. But he failed to live up to expectations through to the 1996 World Cup and was dropped thereafter. In 2000 he was made the New South Wales captain, but knee troubles limited his appearances throughout much of the next few seasons, and led to his early retirement in April 2003, aged 29.

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    August 9 down the years
    Last day for a languid hero
    An England legend bows out
    David Gower made 8231 Test runs

    1992
    The last day of Test cricket for David Gower, bowled for 1 by Waqar Younis in the second innings as Pakistan won by ten wickets at The Oval to take the series 2-1. In the previous two Tests, Gower had scored 73 and 31 not out - so there seemed to be something personal in Graham Gooch's decision not to take him to India that winter, an omission that did England no good. Gower's languidly brilliant shot-making brought him 8231 Test runs, an England record broken shortly afterwards by... Gooch himself.
    2014
    One of India's more inept overseas displays concluded with them being rolled over inside three days at Old Trafford. They never quite recovered from being 8 for 4 after the first day, and though they made it to 53 before losing their second wicket in the second dig, they capitulated after tea, losing their last nine wickets for just over 100 runs. Moeen Ali, England's surprise bowling package of the series, picked up four of those with his offspin. Remarkably, England needed just ten men to finish the job, with their first-innings star Stuart Broad absent after he was hit in the face by a Varun Aaron ball while batting. To make matters worse for India, the weather turned hostile soon after they were bowled out, and nearly the whole of the scheduled fourth day was rainy.
    1892
    A remarkable game at Old Trafford, where Lancashire beat Somerset by eight wickets... in a day. On a drying pitch, batting was almost impossible and 32 wickets fell for 294 runs. Arthur Mold and Johnny Briggs took all 20 Somerset wickets, bowling the visitors out for 88 and 58.
    1977
    As well as taking 143 Test wickets for England, Chris Old could bat a bit, as he showed in hammering a century in only 37 minutes for Yorkshire against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. He hit six sixes and 13 fours and scored his second fifty in only nine minutes.
    1976
    In a typically powerful and merciless assault, West Indies captain Clive Lloyd scored an unbeaten 201 against Glamorgan in Swansea. Wisden called it "the fastest double-century since Gilbert Jessop's days in 1903". Lloyd's side went on to win the Test series 3-0 over England.
    1926
    Birth of Denis Atkinson, who took 47 Test wickets but is best remembered for his only Test hundred. Facing an Australian total of 668 in Bridgetown in 1954-55, West Indies were 146 for 6 when Atkinson was joined by Clairmonte Depeiaza. Their stand of 347 is still a Test record for the seventh wicket. Atkinson scored 219 and took 5 for 56 to become the first to do that double in Tests. His brother Eric also played Test cricket.
    1991
    The day Ian Botham "just, just couldn't quite get his leg over". Botham's hit-wicket dismissal against West Indies at The Oval sparked that comment from Jonathan Agnew, and a fit of hysterics in the Test Match Special box as Agnew and Brian Johnston fought an irresistible attack of the giggles. Johnston was still fighting for composure long after Agnew had given up the ghost, and the exchange has been replayed time and time again since.
    1946
    Death of Ernie Vogler, one of the quartet of South African googly bowlers who toured England in 1907. The following winter he took all 10 wickets in an innings for Eastern Province - and his 36 wickets helped win the 1909-10 series against England. As far as Wisden can discover, he was the first batsman to be dismissed for a king pair in Test cricket, in Sydney in 1910-11. Some modern sources call him Bert - but one of his contemporaries, BJT Bosanquet, the inventor of the googly, referred to him as Ernest.
    1983
    Birth of Hamilton Masakadza, who became the youngest player to score a century on Test debut, in 2001 - but held the record for just over a month before Mohammad Ashraful claimed it. A year later, Masakadza put his career on hold to study, but the players' strike in 2004 prompted the selectors to recall him. In 2009 he scored over 1000 runs in ODIs in the calendar year at an average of 43.48 and a strike rate of 88.08, including scores of 156 and 178 not out in the home series against Kenya, the first time a batsman has made 150 or more twice in the same one-day series. He marked Zimbabwe's return from Test exile in 2011 with a century against Bangladesh.
    Other birthdays
    1897 Ted Badcock (New Zealand)
    1902 Edward "Nobby" Clark (England)
    1911 Khershed Meherhomji (India)

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    August 10 down the years
    England give it a go
    But still lose to Australia
    Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor and Ian Healy celebrate at Trent Bridge

    1997
    The day another Ashes dream died. England had to win at Trent Bridge to keep their hopes alive, and when they were left to chase 451 in a day and a half, they decided to go for it. A ball short of 49 overs later they had been dismissed for 186, and it was all over for another 18 months. There was a desperate air about England from the start of this game - they even chucked in both Hollioakes for their Test debuts - but at least they gave it a go: Jason Gillespie had bizarre figures of 8-0-65-3 in that second innings. The key moment came earlier on this, the fourth day. When Steve Waugh was out first ball of the morning, Australia were leading by 281 runs, not unassailable on a good pitch. Enter Ian Healy to swat and swipe the initiative for one last time, with a 49-ball half-century.
    2000
    The last day of Test cricket for Arjuna Ranatunga, whose 28 not out at Colombo's Sinhalese Sports Club helped draw the match and the series against South Africa. He was only 18 when he played in Sri Lanka's very first Test, against England in 1981-82, and his appearance against Pakistan in 2000-01 made him the only man to play in his country's first and 100th Tests. The dominant figure in Sri Lankan cricket for two decades, he was captain in 56 Tests and scored 5105 runs in all.
    1989
    At the end of the first day of the fifth Test, Australia emphasised their series-long superiority over the England bowling by scoring 301 without loss. Opening batsmen Mark Taylor and Geoff Marsh, later captain and coach of the national team, went on to make 329 for the first wicket, still the highest stand for any wicket in a Trent Bridge Test. Allan Border's team declared at 602 for 6 and won by an innings to go 4-0 up in the series.
    1998
    A day of destiny for England at Headingley, with the series poised 1-1. After Angus Fraser took a third consecutive five-for in the first innings to keep South Africa's lead to 22, the visitors began the last day of the final Test on 185 for 8, needing 219 to win. In 29 minutes it was all over when Darren Gough trapped Makhaya Ntini lbw, a dodgy decision in a match full of them. The performance of the neutral umpire, Javed Akhtar, was to come under scrutiny when the match-fixing scandal broke, but England couldn't have cared less: they'd won their first five-match series since 1986-87.

    2014
    The Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Galle sparked to life on the fifth day (after the sides scored over 450 apiece in their first innings over the first four) thanks to Rangana Herath, Pakistan's unpredictability and the weather. Pakistan went into the day needing to bat it out, but their go-slow backfired, as Herath picked up six wickets to dismiss them for 180. It left the hosts 99 to chase with rain closing in and the light fading. A big, dark cloud hung over the ground as Angelo Mathews swatted an unbeaten 25 off 13 to drag his side home with under five overs remaining. The rain pelted down seconds after the winning runs were scored.

    1991
    Another great day for English cricket. At The Oval, Phil Tufnell demolished West Indies with a spell of 6 for 4 in 33 balls - all caught - and set England on their way to a series-levelling victory. The West Indies batsmen weren't so much trying to run before they could walk as make love before they'd kissed - the last six managed only four runs between them.
    1947
    Derbyshire fast bowler Alan Ward was born. When England went to Australia in 1970-71, their captain, Ray Illingworth, trumpeted his opening attack of Ward and John Snow. But while Snow thrived in the limelight, taking 31 wickets to win the series, Ward shrank from it - even before his tour was wrecked by injury. He played in only five Tests, taking 14 wickets, and was sacked by Derbyshire in 1976. A genuine sense of waste.
    1914
    Six days after the outbreak of the Great War, Surrey's home match against Kent was transferred to Lord's after The Oval was requisitioned for military use. Surrey, the champions, won inside two days, with WG Grace among the spectators.
    1948
    Cyril Washbrook's benefit match earned him ?14,000, which remained a record until Colin Milburn's benefit in 1971. The presence of Don Bradman's Australians did Washbrook's coffers no harm - and the Don rewarded the spectators with his highest score at Old Trafford. His unbeaten 133 was his last century against an English county. Meanwhile Washbrook top-scored with 38 out of 130 in a match Lancashire were happy to draw.
    1976
    Death of one of the all-time great wicketkeepers. Bert Oldfield was Australia's No. 1 throughout the 1920s and most of the 1930s, neat and tidy and sharp as a stoat. Often finishing off the work of legspinners Clarrie Grimmett and Bill O'Reilly, he made 52 stumpings in Test cricket, still the record for any country. The ball from Harold Larwood that knocked him out in Adelaide in 1932-33 was one of the flashpoints of the notorious Bodyline series - but he recovered to help regain the Ashes in 1934 and retain them in 1936-37.
    1978
    Notts and England wicketkeeper Chris Read was born. In his debut Test, against New Zealand at Edgbaston in 1999, he made eight dismissals and looked the brightest young England keeper in years. But then he had a few problems keeping to the spinners, eyesight trouble led to him being convulsively bowled by Chris Cairns' slower ball, New Zealand won the series - and Read's Test career stalled. He had been in and out of the Test team, keeping in the final two Tests of the 2006-07 Ashes after Geraint Jones' poor performance behind the stumps, but that was to be his last series.
    1958
    Birth of a more successful England wicketkeeper. In his debut Test innings, in Brisbane in 1986-87, Surrey's Jack Richards was out for 0 - but made up for that in the second Test, when his 133 in Perth was the second Test hundred by an England keeper in Australia, after Alan Knott's in 1974-75 (Matt Prior joined the list with a century in Sydney in 2011). Richards averaged 37.71 in the series, and although he went the way of all flesh against West Indies in 1988, he'd had his moment in the sun as England's wicketkeeper in a victorious Ashes series.
    2000
    The death of Gilbert Parkhouse. A successful Test recall after eight years (he put on 146 with Geoff Pullar against India at Headingley in 1959) couldn't banish the memory of the 1950-51 series Down Under, when his highest score was 28. But he was a real stalwart for Glamorgan, scoring 22,619 runs and helping them win the Championship in his first season (1948)
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    August 11 down the years
    Warne gets 600

    And to make it sweeter, it came in an Ashes Test
    Marcus Trescothick was Shane Warne's 600th Test victim

    2005
    Another memorable milestone, as Shane Warne became the first bowler to take 600 Test wickets. And he did it at Old Trafford, where he spawned his legend back in 1993. This time the victim was Marcus Trescothick and the dismissal a rather more scrappy affair than the wonder ball that did for Mike Gatting all those years before. Aiming to sweep, Tresco scuffed the ball with the back of his bat and Adam Gilchrist completed a juggling catch as the ball bobbled up off his thigh.
    1977
    One of the most highly charged days in English cricket ended with Geoffrey Boycott making his 100th hundred. In a perfect piece of stage management, he scored it on his home ground, Headingley, in a Test against Australia. He was the first player to hit his 100th ton in a Test match. Boycott went on to make 191. Four days later, after Derek Randall held a catch from Rod Marsh off Mike Hendrick's bowling and then cartwheeled to celebrate, England won by an innings to regain the Ashes.
    1870
    One of England's mightiest pace bowlers was born. Blessed with a powerful frame and boundless stamina, Surrey's Tom Richardson could bowl fast all day - and often had to. At Old Trafford in 1896, for example, he sent down 110.3 five-ball overs and took 13 for 244 in a narrow defeat. He finished with 88 wickets in only 14 Tests and took 809 in first-class cricket in the three seasons from 1895 to 1897, a towering physical achievement by one of the all-time greats.
    1965
    Death of one of Australia's finest captains and ambassadors. An opening batsman known as The Unbowlable, Bill Woodfull averaged 46 in Tests, scoring seven centuries - and was best known for his courageous captaincy during the 1932-33 Bodyline series, when he carried his bat in Adelaide and stood firm against the assaults of Harold Larwood, who hit him on the body several times. There was no shortage of success by way of compensation: Woodfull captained Australia in England in 1930 and 1934, regaining the Ashes on his birthday each time.
    1884
    The first double-century stand in Test cricket was completed, at The Oval. Billy Murdoch and HJH "Tup" Scott made 205 of their 207 for the third wicket, with Scott scoring his only Test century. Australia eventually made 551 but England held out for a draw.
    1909
    By adding 130 to his 136 in the first innings, Warren Bardsley became the first player to score a century in each innings of a Test. The draw at The Oval gave Australia the series 2-1. Bardsley, one of the great batsmen of his generation, had to wait 17 years for his next hundred against England: 193 not out at Lord's.
    1954
    Birth of that attacking little batsman Yashpal Sharma, who made a duck in his last Test innings and averaged a rather moderate 33.45 in his 37 Tests for India - but also scored 140, the second of his two Test hundreds, in a partnership of 316 with Gundappa Viswanath against England in Madras in 1981-82, which remained till 2011 the highest stand for any Test between the two countries.
    1974
    Birth of all-round talent Anju Jain, who was India's captain, wicketkeeper and opening bat in the 2000 women's World Cup, and led them to the semis, where they lost to eventual champions New Zealand. She also played in the 2005 World Cup, where India were runners-up. Jain scored her only Test century in her second match - against England in Kolkata in 1995. After retirement she became a national selector.
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