On This Day On This DayRSS FeedFeeds

May 5 down the years

All too brief

A master on matting

Text size: A | A

January |  February |  March |  April |  May |  June |  July |  August |  September |  October |  November |  December

May 6 | May 4

 
 
Collie Smith hit 169 against the Australians in only his third first-class match
Collie Smith hit 169 against the Australians in only his third first-class match © Getty Images
Enlarge

1889
Birth of Herbie Taylor, South Africa's first world-class batsman and an absolute master on matting pitches. Cultured and fleet-footed, Taylor's finest innings was a brilliant 176 against England in Johannesburg in 1922-23, a match in which the next-highest score was 50, and one of only four occasions Taylor was on the winning side in his 42 Tests. In all he made three centuries, and a 91, in that series; all of his seven Test hundreds came against England. He was captain for 18 Tests either side of the First World War, in which he served in the Royal Field Artillery. Taylor took up coaching schoolboys upon retirement, and died in Cape Town in 1973.

1933
One of Jamaica's favourite sons is born. "Collie" Smith was an attacking batsman, an outstanding fielder and a useful offspinner, who gave up fast bowling as a young man in a bid to emulate his hero Jim Laker. In 1954-55, in only his third first-class match, he cracked 169 against the touring Australians, and was given a Test debut on his home ground as a result. He flashed a superb 104 in the second innings, although it wasn't enough to save West Indies from defeat. Smith's last Test hundred came in Delhi in 1958-59, when he also took his only five-for. He was only 26 when his life was cut short after a car crash in Stoke-on-Trent in 1959, in which Garry Sobers was also involved. When Smith's body was returned to Jamaica, over 60,000 people attended his funeral.

2010
A historic day for women's cricket. West Indies' Deandra Dottin smashed the first T20 hundred, off just 38 balls, en route to a 45-ball 112 against South Africa's women at the ICC World Twenty20 in St Kitts. The second fifty of the whirlwind innings came up in 13 balls as West Indies raced to their first win of the tournament, one where they would eventually lose to New Zealand in the semi-final.

1911
A distinctly unlucky one-cap wonder is born. Lancashire's Norman Oldfield did not do a lot wrong when he made a stylish 80 and 19 in his England debut, against West Indies at The Oval in 1939. But that was the last Test before the Second World War, and when Test cricket returned Oldfield was well into his thirties, and past his prime. He later became an umpire and officiated in two Tests. He died in Blackpool in 1996.

1962
Another one-cap wonder is born. James Whitaker was a member of England's Ashes-winning side in 1986-87. He made his one appearance in Adelaide, when Ian Botham was injured, and managed 11 before falling to Bruce Reid. With David Gower and Phil DeFreitas also playing, England included three Leicestershire players for the first time. Whitaker remained a one-club man, and led Leicester to the County Championship in 1996 and 1998. After being forced to retire with a leg injury he had a spell as general manager at Grace Road.

2003
The day Jermaine Lawson completed a hat-trick in the third Test against Australia in Barbados. After picking up the wickets of Brett Lee and Stuart MacGill in the first innings, Lawson struck with his very first ball of the second innings when he trapped Justin Langer lbw. That, though, had absolutely no bearing on the result of the Test as Australia knocked off a meagre eight required for victory and took an imposing 3-0 lead in the series. After the next match of the series that contained the historic 418 run-chase, Lawson's action came under scrutiny by the ICC.

Other birthdays
1909 Grace Morgan (England)
1927 Sid O'Linn (South Africa)
1964 Glenda Hall (Australia)
1969 Karen Le Comber (New Zealand)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    Test cricket needs fewer teams, not more

Ian Chappell: It's clear that for the ICC votes mean more than results

    Lara's peaks

Tony Cozier: While the 375 had a sense of inevitability to it, the 400 came amid a backdrop of strikes and the threat of a whitewash

    The world record that nearly wasn't

Rewind: Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it

    An archaelogical probe into the state of the game

Review: Gideon Haigh comes out with another set of essays that sound uncannily prescient about the way the game is headed

From hockey sticks to whalebone

Nicholas Hogg: Bat-making as a craft has undergone revolutionary changes and then some since the days of Hambledon

News | Features Last 7 days

UAE all set to host lavish welcoming party

The controversy surrounding the IPL has done little to deter fans in UAE from flocking the stadiums, as they gear up to watch the Indian stars in action for the first time since 2006

Attention on Yuvraj, Gambhir in IPL 2014

ESPNcricinfo picks five players for whom this IPL is of bigger significance

The watch breaker, and Malinga specials

The Plays of the day from the match between Kolkata and Mumbai, in Abu Dhabi

India: cricket's Brazil

It's difficult to beat a huge talent base exposed to good facilities, and possessed of a long history of competing as a nation

The captain's blunder

The Plays of the day from the match between Chennai and Punjab in Abu Dhabi

News | Features Last 7 days