May 7, 2003

'No Cummins, no goings'

May 7 down the years

1966

Birth of the West Indian fast bowler Anderson Cummins, a man best known for a match he didn't even play in. In South Africa's first Test back - in Barbados in 1992 - West Indies gave a debut to Kenny Benjamin, instead of the local boy Cummins. The match was boycotted as a result, and one banner - "No Cummins, no goings" - summed up the mood. Cummins, who later played for Durham, did eventually play five Tests. He did better in the one-day arena though, and his pyjama strike rate - a wicket every 40 balls - puts him above the likes of Curtly Ambrose and Malcolm Marshall.

1991

In the most thrilling finish imaginable, Haryana beat their hosts Bombay by just two runs in the Ranji Trophy final. Chasing 355 in 67 overs on a worn last-day pitch, Bombay looked dead at 305 for 9, but Dilip Vengsarkar cracked the target within range as the debutant Abey Kuruvilla held on grimly at the other end. Vengsarkar walloped 26 off one over, until, with three needed, Kuruvilla was run out after a mix-up. Vengsarkar, who was left undefeated after a marvellous 138-ball 139, wept in the middle at the finish.

1949

Proof that university games weren't always a walkover. An Essex attack that included Trevor Bailey got a bit of a shock when John Dewes and Hubert Doggart added an unbroken 429 at Cambridge, at the time the highest second-wicket partnership in English domestic history. In fairness to the Essex boys, these were just any old scruffy undergraduates: Dewes had already played in a Test for England, Doggart would do so the following year.

1886

Birth of the Surrey and England seamer Bill Hitch, famous for his unusual, hopping run-up. As well as being genuinely fast with the ball, he was a fine short leg and a lusty lower-order hitter. He smeared 51 not out in the last innings of his modest, seven-Test career. Hitch later coached Glamorgan, and died in Cardiff in 1965.

1900

In an amazing County Championship match at Bradford, Worcestershire skittled Yorkshire for 99 ... and lost by an innings. That's because they were blown away for 43 and 51 themselves, with Wilfred Rhodes returning match figures of 11 for 36.

1930

Rich entertainment for the crowd at Brighton as the great Duleepsinhji laced a glorious 333 in just over five hours for Sussex against Northants at Brighton. It was his highest first-class score, and 21 more than Northants managed between them in two innings. Only three batsmen have ever scored more runs in a day in first-class cricket: Brian Lara leads the way with the last 390 of his famous 501 not out for Warwickshire in 1994.

Other birthdays

1941 Grahame Bilby (New Zealand) 1982 Qaiser Abbas (Pakistan)