Lord of the crease
All Today's Yesterdays - May 15 down the years
Lord Ted is born ... in Milan, Italy. Ted Dexter was one of the most stylish batsmen England has produced, a magisterial dasher who loved to take on the very best bowlers. He frequently got England out of a hole - most notably with a marvellous 180 against Australia at Edgbaston in 1961 - and averaged 53 when they didn't lose, as against 28 when they did. Dexter's medium-pacers were good enough to claim 66 Test wickets too, and he was a brilliant allround sportsman, excelling at golf as well. He also led Sussex to the first two Gillette Cups, and was a prime mover in setting up the PWC ratings. He is now president of MCC. But Dexter's stint as chairman of the England selectors was less successful, a four-year reign notable for Ashes thrashings and talk of smog, planetary alignment and Malcolm Devon.
If you think Adam Gilchrist and Nathan Astle have been going some of late, try this: Australia smashed 721 runs on this day against Essex at Chelmsford, a first-class record that remains and will surely never be broken. Those 721 came off only 129 overs, with Don Bradman's 187 - made in just 125 minutes - the highest score. Keith Miller didn't approve of the carnage and was out - some say deliberately - for 0. For good measure, the Aussies then bowled Essex out for 83 and 187 the following day.
Birth of Worcestershire's greatest runscorer. Don Kenyon scored 34,490 runs for the county, more than even Graeme Hick, and played eight Tests for England in the 1950s. He struggled, apart from a dogged 87 in an innings victory over South Africa at Trent Bridge in 1955. Kenyon also captained Worcestershire to long-overdue County Championship wins in 1964 and 1965. He died in Worcester in 1996.
A World Cup is usually a time for new-fangled tricks: pinch-hitters, spinners opening the bowling. But on this day at Hove, South Africa took innovation too far for ICC's liking. Their captain Hansie Cronje came onto the field with an earpiece that was wired up not to his bookie but to his coach, Bob Woolmer, in the dressing-room. The first drinks interval was as far as it got, when the match referee Talat Ali ordered Cronje to remove the offending earpiece. South Africa won the game, though, with Jacques Kallis pummelling 96 in an eerily efficient chase of 254 against India.
Birth of the author of one of first-class cricket's more remarkable spells of bowling. Charles Palmer did his best work as a flowing, free-scoring batsman, but his medium-pace could be decidedly useful. For Leicestershire against the champions Surrey in 1955 he took eight wickets without conceding a run, seven of them bowled. Palmer had only brought himself on for an over to switch the bowlers round. His final match figures were 27-24-8-8 ... and Leicester still lost. The bespectacled Palmer played one Test for England, against West Indies in Barbados in 1953-54.
An Invincible is born. New South Wales wicketkeeper Ron Saggers was deputy to the great Don Tallon in Australia's famous 1948 team. A tidy, unobtrusive keeper, and good enough to play for New South Wales as a specialist batsman at times, Saggers played six Tests in all, the first at Headingley in 1948 and the rest in South Africa in 1949-50. He died in Sydney in 1987.
1875 Joe Vine (England)
1875 Clem Wilson (England)