All Today's Yesterdays

England's greatest allrounder

Wisden Cricinfo staff

October 29, 2003

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All Today's Yesterdays - October 29 down the years

October 28 | October 30

1877
Birth of the man Neville Cardus described as "Yorkshire cricket personified". Wilfred Rhodes was arguably England's best-ever allrounder, a fine strokemaker who started his Test career at No. 11 and ended up opening the batting, and a slow left-armer so precise and cunning in flight that the great Victor Trumper once implored, "For God's sake Wilfred, give me a minute's rest". Rhodes was the oldest man to play Test cricket (at 52 years 165 days in West Indies in 1929-30) and the only man to have a Test career spanning over 30 years (1899-1930). He took a record 4187 first-class wickets, at a cost of only 16.71 apiece. His finest Test moments came at Melbourne: in 1903-04 he took 15 for 124, the 11th-best match figures of all time, and eight years later he matched Jack Hobbs run for run in an opening partnership of 323, England's highest in Ashes Tests. He lost his eyesight in later life, and died in Dorset in 1973.

2000
The mother of all one-day thrashings. In the Champions Trophy final at Sharjah Sri Lanka spanked India by a staggering 245 runs, the biggest win in ODI history until Australia beat Namibia by 256 runs in the 2003 World Cup. Sanath Jayasuriya went berserk, slamming 189 off 161 balls with 21 fours and four sixes. It equalled the second-highest individual score in a one-dayer, made by Viv Richards against England in 1984. Venkatesh Prasad took the most flak, with his seven overs disappearing for 73. As if that wasn't bad enough, India then collapsed for 54, their lowest one-day total and the third-lowest of them all. Only Robin Singh reached double figures, with Chaminda Vaas taking 5 for 14 and Muttiah Muralitharan 3 for 6.

1974
From the moment he faced his first ball in Test cricket with England on an unprecedented 2 for 4 at Johannesburg in 1999-2000, Michael Vaughan, who was born today, has looked the part. After his career started badly - blighted by injuries - Vaughan quickly established himself as an integral part of the England batting line-up. In 23 Tests before the start of the Ashes series in 2002, he averaged a healthy 47.50. With a very successful home series against India the same summer as an opening bat, during which he also plundered his career best 197, Vaughan confirmed he is a natural successor to Mike Atherton, whose unflappable nature he shares. In Australia, Vaughan averaged 63.3 and hit up three stylish hundreds, by far the most successful English batsman on tour. But greater challenges were ahead; after Nasser Hussain quit midway through the home series against South Africa, Vaughan had to rev up a demoralised team, which he did admirably to draw the series from 2-1 down in the final Test.

1971
For some time Matthew Hayden, who was born on this day, was seen the Australian Graeme Hick - a destroyer on good wickets but short of that certain something at the top level. All that changed in 2001, when he cracked 549 runs - an Australian record for a three-match series - in India, followed by runs galore against England and South Africa. He finished with 1391 Test runs, an Australian record for any calendar year, and carried on where he left off the following season, with an heroic seven-hour 119 in stifling heat against Pakistan in Sharjah. More was to come. Against Zimbabwe at Perth, Hayden smashed 380 in quick time, breaking Brian Lara's record of 375 in five sessions.

1935
Birth of the underestimated David Allen, who played 39 Tests for England in the 1960s. He was a very useful offspinner and a handy lower-order batsman with five Test fifties and a top score of 88, at Christchurch in 1965-66. He also famously played out a rampant Wes Hall's last over to secure a draw at Lord's in 1963, with Colin Cowdrey, fractured arm in plaster, looking on at the non-striker's end. With the ball Allen was consistent and steady, but he did win a couple of Test matches for his country, at Durban in 1964-65 and at Sydney a year later. He took 1209 first-class wickets, most in a 19-year career with Gloucestershire.

1971
It's a sign of the fearsome strength-in-depth of Australian cricket that Greg Blewett, who was born today, is nowhere near their Test side, because he would breeze into any other team in the world. He made three sumptuous hundreds in his first three Ashes Tests, but his finest hour came against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1996-97, when he and Steve Waugh batted throughout the third day for a fifth-wicket partnership of 385. So why isn't he in the side? Well, he struggles against spin, for a start: Mushtaq Ahmed embarrassed him in 1995-96, and even Robert Croft snared him three times in 1997. And for all the luxuriance of his better performances, Blewett does only average an under-par 34 from his 46 Tests.

1984
The first 199 in Test history. Mudassar Nazar fell at the final hurdle when he was caught behind off Shivlal Yadav in the second Test between Pakistan and India at Faisalabad. It was a fad that soon caught on: Mohammad Azharuddin, Matthew Elliott, Sanath Jayasuriya, Steve Waugh and Andy Flower have all since made 199 in a Test - but of the six, only Elliott (at Headingley in 1997) has been on the winning side. This one ended in a draw: Mudassar added 250 for the second wicket with Qasim Omar, who went on to grind out 210 in 685 minutes.

Other birthdays
1870 Charles Eady (Australia)
1915 Dennis Brookes (England)
1941 Bryan Yuile (New Zealand)
1946 Anura Tennekoon (Sri Lanka)
1969 Dougie Brown (England)
1973 Adam Bacher (South Africa)

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