All Today's Yesterdays - July 12 down the years
Thirteen men have bagged a pair on their Test debut, but only one in an Ashes Test in the 20th century. Step forward Graham Gooch, who on this day was caught behind off Jeff Thomson for his second duck as England lurched towards an innings defeat at Edgbaston. Gooch was dropped after the next Test - when he made 6 and 31 - but returned after three years to restart a career that would eventually yield an England-record 8900 Test runs.
Birth of Sanjay Manjrekar, who despite a very good Test career never quite lived up to his billing as the new Sunil Gavaskar. He was certainly good enough technically, and had the ability to bat all day - his 104 against Zimbabwe at Harare in 1992-93 took almost nine hours - but he ended up averaging 37 from 37, a steep fall from his first-class average of 55. But no Indian averages more than his 95 in Tests in Pakistan. Unusually for a modern-day Indian batsman, Manjrekar was more productive overseas, where he made all four of his Test hundreds and 79% of his runs. His father, the great Vijay, also played 55 Tests for India.
An old-style one-dimensional cricketer is born. Alan Mullally's ordinary batting and dodgy fielding have not helped his attempts to establish himself in the England team. He was born in Southend but raised in Western Australia - for whom he made his first-class debut aged 18 in the Sheffield Shield final of 1987-88. Somehow you always feel Mullally is less than the sum of his parts: he has bounce, a left-armer's angle, swing, and a natural economy. And he bowled quite majestically in England's victory at the MCG in 1998-99, having driven Glenn McGrath to distraction by slashing 16 quick runs. The eventual margin of victory was only 12 runs. But in 19 Tests he only once took more than three wickets, though he was briefly second in the PwC one-day rankings, before being rumbled during last year's NatWest Series. He has not played a one-day international since.
The cheapest ten-for in first-class history. Hedley Verity sliced through Nottinghamshire at Headingley with extraordinary figures of 19.4-16-10-10. Even more staggeringly, it's the only ten-for to include a hat-trick. At 38 for 0 in the second innings, Nottinghamshire led by 99. Then came Verity, and appropriately enough, a ten-wicket defeat.
Whatever he did in 30 Tests, New Zealand allrounder Bruce Taylor, who was born today, will always be remembered for his startling debut. At Calcutta in 1964-65, Taylor belted a meaty 105 from No. 8 - his maiden first-class century - and then took 5 for 86 in India's first innings. He's still the only man to make a century and take a five-for on Test debut. And in seven Tests against West Indies, he had allround figures to die for: an average of 53 with the bat, and 23 with the ball. What Ian Botham (21, 35) would have given for those.
The Surrey batsman Graham Roope, who was born today, was picked by England as much for his fielding as his batting. A fine amateur goalkeeper and outstanding in the slips, he took 35 catches in 21 Tests. He also made seven fifties, but never reached three figures. The corkscrew-curled Roope was also a bit of a lucky charm - England only lost twice when he played. He was also the man at the other end when both Geoff Boycott (for England) and John Edrich (for Surrey) completed their 100th first-class hundreds.
A classic Benson & Hedges Cup final, as Middlesex beat Kent by just two runs in a low-scoring thriller. The match finished after 7.30, with the ground enveloped in darkness. The Man of the Match was John Emburey, who rushed through 11 overs for just 16 runs, biffed a useful 28 and took a cracking catch at slip to get rid of Chris Cowdrey, Kent's captain.
The day cricket showed a bit of leg. The first Super 8s tournament began in Kuala Lumpur. In short, it involved eight-a-side matches of 14 overs, in which a six was rewarded with eight runs, and batsmen had to retire upon reaching 50. Australia A, led by Darren Lehmann and including Adam Gilchrist, won it, and Australia and India ended pointless. India even lost to a Malaysian Invitation XI. Mind you, the Malaysian side did include Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva, who had done pretty well in a slightly bigger one-day tournament earlier that year ...