England are Biffed
Graeme Smith proved a point or two when he led South Africa from the front with a blistering double-century in the second Test against England, at Lord's. England managed only 173 in the first innings, destroyed by Makhaya Ntini. Smith then pounded the English bowlers into submission with 259 and South Africa ended up winning the Test with ease.
Australia needed only 151 to win at Edgbaston - but Ian Botham was lying in wait again. After his heroics with the bat at Headingley, he engineered another astonishing finish by taking five wickets for one run. England's narrow win put them 2-1 up in "Botham's Ashes".
In Botham's Test debut and Geoff Boycott's comeback, England completed their first win over Australia at Trent Bridge since 1930. After a painstaking hundred in the first innings, Boycott was unbeaten on 80 when England took a 2-0 lead on their way to regaining the Ashes.
Against Australia at Old Trafford, David Gower scored his 5000th run in Test cricket. Although the match was drawn, this was the blond man's golden summer. Captain of a team that regained the Ashes 3-1, he scored 732 runs at an average of 81.33.
Death of Eric Tindill just over five months short of what would have been his 100th birthday. Tindill, who represented New Zealand in cricket and rugby, became the oldest Test cricketer on November 8, 2009, when he overtook Francis MacKinnon's record of 98 years and 324 days. Tindill played 69 first-class matches for Wellington and five Tests either side of the Second World War.
West Indies' hair-raising opening batsman Philo Wallace was born. In his one successful series, against England in 1997-98, he scored 61 and 92 (his only Test fifties) and shared some spectacular stands with Clayton Lambert.
Sri Lanka needed only 177 runs to take a winning 2-0 lead in Kandy. But South Africa took their last four wickets for eight runs to win the match by just seven. A draw in the third Test left the series level.
Top-class South African wicketkeeper Tommy Ward was born. In a 12-year Test career he made 32 dismissals, including 13 stumpings, and added some useful runs, including two fifties. Mind you, he didn't look much of a batsman on his debut, in a Triangular Tournament match against Australia at Old Trafford in 1912. When Jimmy Matthews achieved the unique feat in Test cricket of taking a hat-trick in each innings, Ward was the third victim each time, making a golden pair on his Test debut.
Birth of Matthew Henderson. In New Zealand's inaugural Test, against England in 1929-30, he took a wicket with his first ball: opener Eddie Dawson caught by New Zealand captain Tom Lowry. The wicket of the gifted Duleepsinhji was Henderson's second and last: he played in only this one Test.
India's utility man Arshad Ayub was born. An offspinner who relied more on accuracy than turn, and a useful late-order batsman, Ayub played against West Indies (against whom, in his first Test, he took four of the five wickets to fall in the second innings), New Zealand and Pakistan in a career that lasted a little over two years. His top moment in ODIs was bowling India to victory against Pakistan in the Asia Cup final in Dhaka in 1988 with a spell of 5 for 21.
Birth of Mohammad Zahid, who became the first, and so far only, Pakistani to take ten wickets on Test debut when he took 11 against New Zealand in Rawalpindi in 1996. Four Tests later, he was out with a back injury he picked up in his second series, in Sri Lanka, and never played at the highest level again.