A more famous Gibbs

Wisden CricInfo staff

September 29, 2003

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All Today's Yesterdays - September 29 down the years

September 28 | September 30

1934
The birth of the first spinner to take 300 Test wickets. With his lissom figure and unusually long fingers, Lance Gibbs allied pronounced spin and bounce to a fierce accuracy. He took 309 wickets in 79 Tests - including 18 five-fors - all the while conceding his runs at a staggering 1.99 per over. Brave and indefatigable, his best spell came between 1960 and 1962. He was left out of the first two Tests in Australia, but Gibbs took three wickets in four balls at Sydney and a hat-trick in the next Test at Adelaide. The following winter he returned the remarkable figures of 53.3-37-38-8 against India in Barbados, all eight wickets coming in a 15- over spell at a cost of just six runs. It was a performance he never bettered.

1941
The bank clerk who went to war was born on this day. That's how David Steele was described when he was called up to make his Test debut at the age of 33 against Lillee and Thomson in 1975. Grey-haired and bespectacled, Steele stood up to all the Australians could throw at him and made 365 runs at 60.83. "Test cricket," said the Wisden Almanack, "had not enjoyed such a romantic story for decades." Steele became a hugely popular figure and was even voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1975. It was also his benefit year, and Steele received a meat chop for every first-class run he scored from a local butcher. By the end of the summer, he had 1756 of them.

1957
Why did Chris Broad who was born today, play only 25 Tests? His average of 39.55 is higher than those of Atherton, Gatting and Lamb but Broad never got close to establishing himself as they did. An economical lefthander with an ungainly bottom-out stance, Broad came of age in Australia when England last regained the Ashes in 1986-87. He made hundreds in three consecutive Tests and was made "International Player of the Season" but disciplinary problems the following winter would ultimately cost him dear. He refused to walk after being given out at Lahore; two months later he smashed down his stumps in the Bicentennial Test at Sydney. His poor fielding, abrasive character and persistent back problems did not help either. Despite six hundreds in his previous 18 Tests, Broad was dropped during 1988 and played only twice more before joining Mike Gatting's rebel tour to South Africa.

1983
Insomniacs the world over celebrated as Indian Aunshuman Gaekwad completed the slowest doublecentury in Tests, against Pakistan at Jullundur. He took 652 minutes and 426 balls to reach his milestone - at the time it was the slowest in firstclass cricket as well - as the second Test petered out into a draw.

1934
The chinaman bowler Lindsay Kline was born in Victoria. He represented Australia in just 13 Tests, nine of them overseas where he was notably successful (31 wickets at 15.35). He took a hat-trick in his second Test, in Cape Town in 1957-58, but is best remembered for facing the last ball of the first tied Test, against West Indies at Brisbane in the classic 1960-61 series. He also denied West Indies for 100 minutes as Australia held on for a draw at Adelaide in the same series. It was his last act in Test cricket.

1995
A remarkable performance from Salim Elahi led Pakistan to a nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first one-day international at Gujranwala. Only 19, Elahi stroked an unbeaten 102 on his ODI debut at a time when he had not even played a first-class match. And he reached three figures in the grand manner with a straight six off Pramodya Wickramasinghe, thus becoming the fourth person, after Dennis Amiss, Des Haynes and Andy Flower, to score a hundred on his ODI debut.

1950
But for his namesake Deryck, the West Indian David Murray, who was born today, would surely have played many more than 19 Tests. He was a talented wicketkeeper and a capable batsman who made three Test fifties and a first-class double hundred, at Jamshedpur on the 1978-79 tour of India. He took over from Deryck Murray - they were not related - in 1980-81 and was briefly No. 1. But he was banned from cricket in the West Indies after playing in South Africa, and his last Test appearance came at Sydney in 1981-82.

1997
At Bulawayo, the second Test between Zimbabwe and New Zealand ended in a draw, with the series ending 0-0. But this was no bore draw. Set 286 to win after a sporting declaration from Zimbabwean captain Alistair Campbell, New Zealand closed on 275 for 8, having looked set for victory at 207 for 3. The match was notable for Guy Whittall's unbeaten first innings 203 and legspinner Adam Huckle's unlikely match figures of 11 for 255.

Other birthdays
1930 Ramnath Kenny (India)

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