January 4 down the years

The story of Jonah

The first bowler to be called for throwing

1898
Big in frame and heart, Australian fast bowler Ernie Jones is famous for two things. Sending a bouncer through WG Grace's beard ("Sorry, Doc, she slipped") - and becoming the first bowler to be called for throwing in a Test, which happened today against England in Melbourne. "Jonah", who was no-balled by umpire Jim Phillips, the scourge of all chuckers, took 64 Test wickets, some of them possibly kosher.

1975
A rare instance of a captain dropping himself. A shell-shocked Mike Denness left himself out of the England side for the fourth Test against Australia in Sydney after scoring 65 runs in six innings. The ploy didn't work as England lost the match by 171 runs and with it the Ashes. Denness' replacement as captain, John Edrich, was struck by Dennis Lillee with the first ball he received and was taken to hospital with a broken rib. Denness returned with a half-century in the fifth Test and a hundred in the final game of the series.

2002
Muttiah Muralitharan came agonisingly close to the best innings figures in all Test cricket. By the first evening in Kandy against Zimbabwe he had taken 9 for 51 from 39 overs. The next morning Travis Friend offered a regulation bat-pad catch off Murali's first ball, only for Russel Arnold to drop it; then an lbw appeal was turned down. At the other end, Chaminda Vaas bowled wide of off stump to Henry Olonga, but could not stop him nicking one - which Kumar Sangakkara could not bring himself to drop. Murali took four in the second innings and Sri Lanka won by an innings and 94 runs.

1906
England on the receiving end again. It was only by one wicket, but that was enough to give South Africa their first ever Test victory. They needed a last-wicket stand of 48 between Percy Sherwell, their captain, wicketkeeper and No. 11, and AW "Dave" Nourse, to beat a scandalously weak England team. South Africa won the next two Tests as well, and took the series 4-1.

1936
And another Englishman bites the dust, or at least his world record does. Clarrie Grimmett's 190th Test wicket, for Australia v South Africa in Cape Town, overtook the total reached by the great Sydney Barnes, also in South Africa, in 1913-14.

Other birthdays
1937 Surendranath (India)
1971 Richard Chee Quee (Australia)
1979 John Blain (Scotland)
1979 Gulam Bodi (South Africa)
1979 Chamila Gamage (Sri Lanka)
1980 Justin Ontong (South Africa)