August 31, 2003

Swansea sixes

Wisden Cricinfo staff

All Today's Yesterdays - August 31 down the years

August 30 | September 1

A day that Malcolm Nash would rather forget. Bowling for Glamorgan against Nottinghamshire at Swansea, he was smashed for six sixes in an over by Gary Sobers, the first time anyone had managed the maximum off a six-ball over. With Nottinghamshire heading towards a declaration, Sobers was looking for quick runs. Left-armer Nash, who was experimenting with left-arm spin rather than bowling in his usual medium-pace style, had Sobers caught on the long-on boundary on the fifth ball but the fielder, Roger Davis, toppled over the rope still clutching the ball. In 1977, Nash was hit for 34 off an over by Frank Hayes, also at Swansea.

That mighty hitter and allround cool dude Clive Lloyd was born. He bludgeoned 7515 Test runs with that oversized bat of his but will be remembered mainly as the man who restored West Indies to a position of dominance. Captain in 74 of his 110 Tests, he led them to a record 27 without defeat which included a "blackwash" of England in 1984. Before bad knees took their toll, he was also one of the great cover fielders. Just as devastating in one-day cricket, he was the only man to captain a team in three World Cup finals, winning the first in 1975, when he blasted 102 off 85 balls, and the second in 1979. He helped Lancashire win four Gillette Cup finals, including three in a row.

Few bowlers have had less luck in a Test series than India's strike bowler Javagal Srinath, who was born today. His 11 wickets against England in 1996 cost him 39.36 each - but, as Wisden remarked, these figures "did him no sort of justice." He suffered from dropped catches, and beat the bat so often it became monotonous. Srinath has had happier moments since then, taking 6 for 21 at Ahmedabad in 1996-97 and 13 wickets, including 8 for 86, against Pakistan at Calcutta in 1998-99.

The end of Murali's match. Aided by a parched surface that could have come straight from his hometown of Kandy, Muttiah Muralitharan took 16 for 220 as Sri Lanka thrashed England by ten wickets in this one-off Test at The Oval. Aided by big hundreds from Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva, Murali was utterly mesmeric ... to everyone except David Lloyd, whose murmurs about Murali's action threatened to tarnish an unforgettable display. At least England learnt from being humbled - they've pretty much muzzled Murali ever since.

Needing 91 to win with 70 minutes left at The Oval, England were frustrated by the weather. So South Africa escaped with a draw that gave them the three-match series 1-0. This was the last day of Test cricket they played in England until 1994.

The destination of the Ashes had been decided by Ian Botham when the sixth and final Test took place was played at The Oval - but the match meant a lot to one Australian. Dirk Wellham, a diabetic who played in glasses, made his Test debut and scored 103 in the second innings. He owed his debut ton to a rather better-known batsman: Geoff Boycott dropped him when he was on 99. His partnership of 86 with wicketkeeper Rod Marsh is still the highest for Australia's sixth wicket at the Oval. Wellham was the only man to captain three Australian states - New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland - but moves for him to replace Allan Border as Australian captain came to nothing.

Death of a high-class wicketkeeper who went on to become one of the characters of the game. EJ "Tiger" Smith lived to be 93, which made him a favourite subject for interviews about the distant past. In his 11 Tests for England, he made 20 dismissals. He made seven in one Derbyshire innings at Edgbaston in 1926. Back in 1911, he helped Warwickshire win the Championship for the first time.

England opener and future national team coach David Lloyd scored 116 in a Prudential Trophy match at Trent Bridge - but that glorious strokemaker Majid Khan replied with 109 in 93 balls to win the match for Pakistan by seven wickets.

Other birthdays
1965 Willie Watson (New Zealand)
1869 Gregor McGregor