|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
One of the all-time great commentators signs off for the final time
As the rain-hit Centenary Test petered out at Lord's, Australia's Kim Hughes became only the third man to bat on all five days of a Test match. He made 117 and 84. But the day was probably more memorable for John Arlott's final stint behind the microphone. As the famous commentator ended his long career with the BBC's Test Match Special, play stopped and the whole ground stood to applaud him.
In the Gillette Cup final at Lord's, Warwickshire's perfectly respectable 234 for 9 was put in perspective by Clive Lloyd. He had opened the bowling with 12 consecutive economical overs, and now did what he did best, hammering an unforgettable 126 to win the match. Lancashire became the only club to win any of the major English one-day trophies three years in a row. It was no coincidence that Lloyd appeared in all three finals.
Birth of the 6ft 4in Ishant Sharma, who like Irfan Pathan before him, grabbed headlines during a tour of Australia - his second international tour - where he showed he could move the ball both ways. His probing spell in the second innings in Perth set up India's win, but after a golden debut season during which he was looked at as Zaheer Khan's successor, Ishant began to steadily lose pace. India's selectors tried to protect him by reducing his workload, but he struggled to recapture the form of 2008. When he completed 50 Tests in early 2013 he had among the worst averages for bowlers with 50 Test caps to their name. But in 2014 he was instrumental in India's famous Test win at Lord's, taking a career-best 7 for 74 in a 95-run win.
Another giant is born. The 6ft 7in Chris Tremlett established himself in the England Test side during the 2010-11 Ashes - where he took 18 wickets in three Tests, including eight in Perth, England's only defeat of the series - though he's been around, injury permitting, since 2005. Tremlett troubles batsmen with the awkward bounce he can get, and also with seam movement from just short of a length, but in the Lord's Test of 2011, during the whitewash of India, he added swing to his repertoire, before hamstring and back injuries ruled him out again.
Death of Australian opening batsman Nat Thomson, who played in the first two Test matches, both in Melbourne in 1876-77. In the opening game, he became the first man to be dismissed in Test cricket, bowled by England's Allen Hill for a single. He made his highest score (41) in his fourth and last innings.
In their first appearances in the Gillette Cup final, Kent and Somerset served up some serious excitement. From 138 for 1, Kent struggled to 193 all out thanks to fine seam bowling from Fred Rumsey, Kenny Palmer and Bill Alley. But it was much the same story with the Somerset innings: a good start of 58 for 1 followed by a collapse, triggered by Derek Underwood's slow-medium left-arm. Somerset were all out for 161 and didn't reach the final again until 1978.
If it's September 2, it must be a Gillette Cup final - and Somerset must be losing it. Still without a major trophy on their sideboard, they were all out for 207 despite a typically hard-hit 80 by Ian Botham. They lost by five wickets to Sussex, who had already won the Cup twice before.
As the Wisden Almanack reported, the early death of Paddy Clift "cast a pall over Leicestershire's Championship 1996 celebrations." A respected Rhodesian allrounder, Clift announced himself in the Leicestershire team with the astonishing figures of 8 for 17 (five bowled, three lbw) against MCC at Lord's in 1976. Although he never scored 1000 runs or took 100 wickets in a Championship season, he was an integral member of the team, taking two hat-tricks, scoring a century in 50 minutes, and helping them win the Sunday League in 1977 and the B&H Cup in 1985.
Surrey bowler Edward Barratt took all ten wickets in an innings on his home ground: 10 for 43 for the Players against the touring Australians at The Oval. He had some help with all ten: his victims were caught or stumped. The opening batsman Charles Bannerman scored 51 in a total of 77. The Australians made only 89 in their second innings - but it was enough to win the match. On a dreadful pitch, typical of the time, the Players were all out for 82 and 76 and lost by eight runs.
How did Tom Groube, who was born today, ever get to bat for Australia? His highest first-class score was only 61, and in his only Test, at The Oval in 1880, he made 11 and 0. The previous winter he had averaged 155.33 for the East Melbourne club. So that explains it.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss Adam Gilchrist's adaptability
Bowl at Boycs: Geoffrey Boycott talks about the troubles in West Indian cricket, Steven Smith's recent catch against Pakistan, and fast bowling in India
Mark Nicholas: Why the BCCI should use a carrot, not a stick, in its approach to the WICB
Peter Willey on suiting up against '80s West Indies, and umpiring in England
Samir Chopra: We as spectators have a great deal to do with the perceived complexity of the game, because we change over time
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala
West Indies may have formally played the fourth ODI in Dharamsala but their fielding suggested their minds were already on the flight back home
Players demanding that home pitches should be prepared to favour them don't realise it's a retaliatory business
ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the preparation of all 16 Australia players ahead of the first Test, which starts in Dubai on Wednesday