'They couldn't break his will'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

June 27, 2003

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All Today's Yesterdays - June 27 down the years

1939
An unlucky charm is born. Fast bowler Neil Hawke did most of his best work in Australian defeats, when he took 29 wickets at an average of 21, including his Test-best figures, 7 for 105 against England at Sydney in 1965-66. Hawke is one of the few men to play for three states - Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania - and was a top-quality Aussie Rules player as well. His nickname wasn't the most original, though: "Hawkeye" was prowling round cricket circles long before Channel 4's technology hit the screens. An extremely tough character, Hawke lived for 20 years after bowel surgery kick-started a terrible run of ill-health. After he died on Christmas Day 2000, in Adelaide, his Wisden Cricket Monthly obituary was headlined: "They could not break his will."

1939
A renowned performance from the great George Headley. He became the first person to score two centuries in a Lord's Test, although West Indies still went down by eight wickets to England. It was the second time in his career that Headley had made two centuries in a Test, making him only the second person (after Herbert Sutcliffe) to do so. Headley's was a one-man show, though. Only one other West Indian passed 29 in the match, and England only lost seven wickets in completing victory.

1949
Another famous Lord's innings. Martin Donnelly, one of New Zealand's greatest batsmen, stroked a glorious century against England, which he extended to 206 on the third and final day. It completed a unique treble, which only Donnelly and Percy Chapman, another left-hander, have managed - Donnelly also made Lord's hundreds for Gentlemen against Players and for Oxford against Cambridge. In addition to that he made a famous ton at Lord's for the Dominions against England -- after which, a probably apocryphal story runs, a spectator went into a nearby pub, said "I have just seen the most marvellous day's play," drank a double whisky and dropped dead.

1886
The Governor General of Australian cricket is born. That's how Charles Macartney, an outstanding allrounder from New South Wales, was known. He was a charming improviser of a batsman, who finished his Test career with a flourish, when he made three centuries in a row in his last series, in England in 1926. His left-arm spinners could also be very handy, and he took 11 for 85 against England when Australia won at Headingley in 1909. Macartney died in Sydney in 1958.

1924
Birth of Bob Appleyard, the Yorkshire and England offspinner whose career was dogged by poor health. As a result he only played nine Tests, but England won seven of them and Appleyard snared 31 wickets at an average of only 17. He was like Derek Underwood: quickish, flat, and devastating on damp wickets. Appleyard did not make his first-class debut until he was 27, and had to retire at 34 because of sickness, but managed to take almost as many wickets (708) as he made runs (776).

Other birthdays
1917 Khanderao Rangnekar (India) 1938 Gordon Rorke (Australia)

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