Sobers: limited-overs flop

Wisden Cricinfo staff

September 5, 2003

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All Today's Yesterdays - September 5 down the years

September 4 | September 6

1973
The great Garry Sobers scored 8032 runs in Tests - 8032 more than he made in one-day internationals. In his only match of that type, at Headingley in 1973, he was caught at the wicket off Chris Old for a duck. Sobers did manage one ODI wicket, but West Indies lost by one wicket.

1969
Birth of Mark Ramprakash, whose 133 against Australia at The Oval in 2001 suggested that he might be about to translate his talent into figures. But, sadly, it didn't happen and he was dropped yet again after the tour to New Zealand. We should have learned not to get carried away: his first 'breakthrough' innings - a brilliant 154 at Bridgetown in 1997-98 - also proved to be a false dawn. He seemed to be made of the right stuff in his debut series, against West Indies in 1991. But an average of under 30 after ten years in Test cricket suggests unfulfilled potential.

1826
Birth of a small but decidedly dangerous round-arm bowler. Playing for the North against the South in 1850, he bowled all ten batsmen in an innings. That would have been enough of a claim to fame for anyone, but in 1864 he published a book ... that gave birth to a magazine ... then a website. John Wisden's Almanack has appeared every year since 1864.

1909
A brilliant batsman was born, one who died young. Archie Jackson was only 19 when scored 164 on his debut for Australia, against England at Adelaide in 1928-29. It was his only Test hundred but he averaged 47.40 in his eight matches before TB took hold. He was still only 23 when he died in 1933, on the day Australia lost the Ashes to Jardine's Bodyline team.

1976
The most exciting day in Sunday League history. On the last day of the season, five counties were in with a shout of winning the title. The leaders Somerset, who had yet to win a major trophy, chased Glamorgan's 191 for 7 at Cardiff. Needing three runs off the last ball to tie and lift the trophy, Somerset fell agonisingly short. Colin Dredge was run out by inches and Kent took the title. Somerset consoled themselves by winning it the following year.

1971
Birth of Surrey's captain when they won the County Championship in 1999 and 2000. When Adam Hollioake played in his first Test for England, against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1997, his younger brother Ben was also making his debut. They were the first brothers to bowl in the same Test for England (at one point they were bowling at the Waugh twins). Although Adam averages only 10.83 in his four Tests, he captained England when they won the Champions Trophy in Sharjah in 1997-98 and might have led them in the 1999 World Cup if the current Test captain Alec Stewart hadn't been picked.

1972
Birth of Zimbabwe allrounder Guy Whittall, who has made a number of big not-out scores in Test cricket, including 113 against Pakistan at Harare in 1994-95, and two against New Zealand: 203 at Bulawayo in 1997-98 and 188 at Harare in 2000-01. In another Test of that 1997-98 series, Zimbabwe created a Test first by fielding three sets of brothers (Andy and Grant Flower, Gavin and John Rennie, and Bryan and Paul Strang). Whittall also played - and his cousin Andy was 12th man.

1947
Birth of that rare breed, an Australian offspinner who took 100 Test wickets. Bruce Yardley finished with 126 wickets in 33 matches and was particularly successful in the early 1980s, especially at home. In 1981-82 he took seven-fors against West Indies and Pakistan, including his Test-best 7 for 98 against the Windies at Sydney. He and Bruce Reid are the only two bowlers to take 100 wickets for Australia without playing a Test in England.

1974
The most ineffective bowler in Test history was born. In his three Tests for West Indies, legspinner Rawl Lewis bowled 97.3 overs. Of those 585 balls, only one brought him a wicket, that of South Africa's wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, caught by Brian Lara at Johannesburg in 1998-99. That single strike has cost Lewis 318 runs, the highest average in all Test cricket, ahead of the figures of Roger Wijesuriya of Sri Lanka (294.00) and England's John Warr (281.00), who also took only one wicket apiece.

1927
Birth of South African batsman Colin "Tich" Wesley, who didn't have a particularly distinguished first-class career, scoring only two centuries in his nine seasons. His international career was even worse: in his only Test series, in England in 1960, his highest score was 35 and he averaged only 9.80. He gets in the record books (and on this page) for the rare feat of suffering a king pair in a Test match. Brian Statham dismissed him twice for 0 for at Trent Bridge.

Other birthdays
1910 Phiroze Palia (India)
1923 Ken Meuleman (Australia)
1931 William Bell (New Zealand)
1954 Richard Austin (West Indies)
1978 Sylvester Joseph (West Indies)

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