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He should have been a paceman

Wisden Cricinfo staff

July 5, 2003

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All Today's Yesterdays - July 5 down the years

1929
Birth of a left-arm spinner whose career makes Phil Tufnell's look boring. With Tony Lock you got a bit of everything, and he belonged on the front page. There was a chucking rumpus - he was no-balled in the Jamaica Test in 1953-54 - a fiery nature which would have better suited the quickest of bowlers, some spectacular and fearless work at short leg, and, later on, a charge of indecent assault of young girls he was coaching in Australia. Most of all, though, there was a famous partnership for Surrey and England with Jim Laker. Lock is often remembered for taking only one wicket at Old Trafford in 1956, while Laker took 19. Lock's finest Ashes moment came three years earlier, when he took 5 for 45 in the second innings of England's Ashes-regaining victory at The Oval. Lock's action continued to court controversy - Doug Insole once asked if he'd been run out after being bowled by Lock's quicker ball - but he eventually remodelled his action successfully, after being astounded when he saw himself on film. He is one of only five men to be stuck tantalisingly on 49 Test caps. Lock settled in Perth, and captained Western Australia with panache for a while. He died in 1995.

1954
A genial Kiwi is born. John Wright's style of batting - he had most of the shots; he just often chose not to use them - is pretty archaic nowadays, but he was a key part of New Zealand's coming-of-age as a Test nation in the 1970s and '80S. In his first Test innings, at Wellington in 1977-78, he batted six hours for 55 - a vital innings in the Kiwis' first victory over England at the 48th attempt. Nine of his 12 Test hundreds came in draws. That should have been 10 in 13, but having been stuck on 99 for 23 minutes, Wright charged Phil Tufnell at Christchurch in 1991-92 and was stumped to spark a massive collapse. Wright averaged 61 against India, who he now coaches and led to one of the more famous Test series victories, over Australia in 2000-01.

2001
A delirious start to an Ashes series. Once upon a time, the first day of the first Test between England and Australia would be a cagey affair - Australia closed on 207 for 3 in 1989 - but times have changed, and here there were 427 runs and 12 wickets in 90 extraordinary overs. Pick of the day was Alec Stewart and Andy Caddick's feverish slog. They added 103 for the tenth wicket in the blink of an eye, and the initiative was England's ... for all of 15 minutes. Enter Michael Slater, who if he did nothing else all summer gave Australia the whip hand in the series by lashing 18 runs off Darren Gough's first over. Normal service was resumed on the second day, with Steve Waugh grinding England down, and with Adam Gilchrist later belting an incredible 152, England were trounced within four days.

1957
At Trent Bridge, Tom Graveney carved a famous 258 in the third Test against West Indies. England stormed to 619 for 6, but were denied victory by two wonderful innings: Frank Worrell carried his bat for 191 in the first innings, and after West Indies followed on, Collie Smith denied England with a Test-best 168 in the second. Just over two years later, Smith was dead, after a car crash in Staffordshire.

1905
A South African captain is born. The popular wicketkeeper-batsman Jock Cameron was only 30 when he died of enteric fever in Johannesburg in 1935. Shortly before he had excelled on South Africa's tour of England, famously hammering 30 off one Hedley Verity over in a tour match against Yorkshire. He was a superb, unobtrusive keeper, and a flashing batsman who made ten fifties but no Test hundred.

1988
Humiliation for England at Old Trafford. Their innings defeat to West Indies went into a fifth day, but in reality there were less than three days of playing time. England were bulldozed for 135 and then 93, with Malcolm Marshall taking 7 for 22 in an imperious second-innings display, the greatest figures of a great career. It all added up to a depressing five days for England's oldest debutant for 41 years. Essex's John Childs was 36 years 320 days, and bowled well for figures of 40-12-91-1. Shame about the rest. England started this final day on 60 for 3, rain their main hope of salvation. But Marshall washed them away in just over an hour - and within five minutes it started pouring down.

1991
Only 12 men have ever taken a wicket with their first ball in Test cricket, and Richard Illingworth became the first Englishman to do so for 44 years against West Indies at Trent Bridge on this day. The forward defensive played by Phil Simmons could have come straight from the textbook, but to his horror the ball spun back and bowled him, hitting the stumps almost apologetically. The last Englishman to achieve the feat was another Worcestershire left-arm spinner, Dick Howorth. This one didn't affect the match, though: West Indies won by nine wickets to square the series at 1-1.

1973
Harold "Dickie" Bird made his Test debut at Headingley, umpiring the third Test between England and New Zealand. Twenty-three years later, Bird retired, having stood in a record 66 Tests. Anecdotes have poured forth ever since.

Other birthdays

1959 Tim Shaw (South Africa)
1964 Saleem Raza (UAE)
1968 Shahid Anwar (Pakistan)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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