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The last wicket before the war
With all other matches cancelled or abandoned as war loomed, Yorkshire opted to carry on playing against Sussex at Hove as the match was Jim Parks' benefit. On a helpfully rain-affected pitch, that great slow left-armer Hedley Verity finished with the amazing figures of 7 for 9 to give Yorkshire the County Championship. He finished the summer with 199 wickets at 13.13. It was the last day of first-class cricket in England before the declaration of war against Germany two days later - and the last of Verity's career. He died in a prisoner of war camp in Italy in 1943.
The last day of an astonishing series didn't live up to what had gone before. The draw at The Oval confirmed England's 3-1 win over Australia, and several of the players had cause for satisfaction. Dennis Lillee dismissed his old enemy Geoff Boycott for a duck. Terry Alderman took his 42nd wicket of the series, still the record by an Australian bowler in England. And Mike Brearley, in his last day as England captain, maintained his unbeaten record at home. The previous day the star of the show had taken his 200th wicket in only four years of Test cricket. You couldn't keep Ian Botham out of the record books that summer.
Birth of tiny Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim, who replaced Khaled Mashud as the team's first-choice keeper in the 2007 World Cup and got the gloves in Tests a few months after the tournament. In 2010 he made his maiden Test century - off just 112 balls - against a strong Indian attack, which might have helped make up for missing the milestone six months earlier in an ODI. A year later he was named captain after Shakib Al Hasan was sacked following a disappointing tour of Zimbabwe, and found early success when Bangladesh beat India and Sri Lanka to make it to the Asia Cup final.
In the C&G Trophy final at Lord's, Somerset won a major trophy for the first time since 1983, thanks to a top score by Keith Parsons and a tragic performance from one of the Leicestershire seamers. Parsons made his 60 not out in only 52 balls. Earlier poor Scott Boswell had been taken off after bowling only two overs, in which he conceded 23 runs. He bowled nine wides, including five in a row, in the second.
Gloucestershire beat Sussex by 40 runs in the Gillette Cup final at Lord's to win their first major trophy since the Championship back in 1877, when WG Grace was in the team. The Man of the Match was Mike Procter, an allrounder fit to be mentioned in the same breath as WG. Procter top-scored with 94 and took 2 for 27 in 10 overs of fiery pace.
Another final of the same competition, by now named the NatWest Trophy - and one of the most dramatic of the lot. Needing seven runs from the last over, Middlesex beat Kent off the last ball of the match, bowled by Kent seamer Richard Ellison. Squinting through the gloom (it was 7.45 in the evening), the Middlesex offspinner John Emburey hit it to square leg for four. Clive Radley's 67 made him Man of the Match, but Embers was very much the man of the moment.
That fine wicketkeeper and real character David Bairstow was born. A crackerjack behind the stumps and a hefty hitter with the bat, he didn't establish himself as Alan Knott's successor in the England team, playing in only four Tests (13 dismissals, highest score 59). But he gave Yorkshire years of selfless and colourful service, helping them win the B&H Cup in 1987, their last major trophy until the Championship in 2001. Tragic that such an ebullient player should have committed suicide in 1998.
Although his Test figures were nothing to write home about, Amir Elahi entered the record books as one of the relatively few men to play Test cricket for two countries. In his only match for India, in Sydney in 1947-48, he was chosen as a bowler but didn't bowl. He played five times for Pakistan, including their inaugural Test appearance, in Delhi in 1952-53 - and would have had a long international career (with a long gap in the middle of it) if he'd played in any of the Tests on the tour of England in 1936.
England captain Clare Connor was born. During the tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2000, she took over the captaincy from the long-serving Karen Smithies. She led them in the World Cup that year and in the tough series against Australia in 2001. Her slow left-arm spin brought her a hat-trick in an ODI against India in Northampton in 1999, and she secured her greatest achievement by leading England to the women's Ashes in 2005, the first time Australia had lost the trophy since 1963. In 2007 she was appointed the ECB's head of women's cricket.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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