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England's first home victory over West Indies in two decades
Graham Gooch's unforgettable 154 not out set England up for their first home victory over West Indies for 22 years. In horrible conditions for batting at Headingley, Gooch made 61.11% of his team's second-innings 252, an England record. Only Mark Ramprakash and Derek Pringle, who both made 27, managed more than 6. Pringle's contribution was crucial. He hung around in a partnership of 98 for the seventh wicket, and was there when Gooch symbolically refused the offer of light on the third evening. Psychologically, that was the clincher. Gooch was at his hard-nosed, uncomplicated best, and hardly ever looked like getting out. The Wisden Almanack said that "no praise could be too lavish". Phil DeFreitas took 8 for 93, and Ramprakash, a debutant along with Graeme Hick and Steve Watkins, took a blinding catch to get rid of Phil Simmons, and a direct hit to see off Carl Hooper.
The beginning of the third World Cup - and one of the biggest shocks in cricket history. Nine years before they were granted Test status Zimbabwe, inspired by their 34-year-old captain, Duncan Fletcher, stunned Australia with a 13-run victory in their first-ever one-day international, at Trent Bridge. Fletcher cracked 69 not out in Zimbabwe's victory, then took 4 for 42 as Australia spluttered to 226 for 7. Another old stager, John Traicos, with an impeccable spell of 12-2-27-0, was also central to the victory. On the same day, England got their campaign underway by thumping New Zealand at The Oval. Allan Lamb hammered 102, and Martin Snedden (12-1-105-2) became the first bowler to notch a century in an ODI.
In Birmingham, England, a big-hitting but controversial Aussie is born. Andrew Symonds was included in the England A squad to tour Pakistan in 1995, but decided he was a fair-dinkum Aussie after all. He was one of the stars of Australia's World Cup campaign in 2003. He made his Test debut in 2004 and got his maiden hundred in the Ashes two years later. The 2007-08 season was his best, with 777 runs in nine Tests against Sri Lanka, India and West Indies. The high was an unbeaten 162 in the first innings at the SCG, which was quickly followed by the low of a lengthy race row involving Harbhajan Singh. Things got worse for Symonds, who had earlier struggled with alcohol and disciplinary problems. He was dropped from the side for going fishing instead of attending a team meeting, then got into a pub brawl, and in 2009 was sent back from the World Twenty20 for an alcohol-related incident. He played Twenty20s in England, India and Australia till 2012 when he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Geoff Boycott's highest Test score - and the innings that got him dropped. Boycott crawled to 246 not out against India at Headingley in just short of ten hours, and even though England went on to win the game by six wickets, the chairman of selectors, Doug Insole, dropped him for the next Test because of selfish (as opposed to slow) batting.
On the same day 12 years earlier, another Englishman who was later dropped for selfish batting made his Test debut. Ken Barrington failed to score against South Africa at Trent Bridge - he made a duck in the first innings of a match that England won by an innings. He was dropped after making 34 and 18 in the next Test, but returned four years later and was in the runs straight away, with three consecutive 80s against India.
Birth of one of a unique cricket sextet. When Zimbabwe played New Zealand in the first Test in Harare in 1997-98, Bryan and Paul Strang were one of three sets of brothers in the side, along with the Rennies (Gavin and John) and the Flowers (Andy and Grant). Bryan was a diligent if low-slung left-arm seamer who faded after a promising start to his Test career. In his first 11 Tests he took 29 wickets at 27. In 15 subsequent Tests he took 27 wickets at 51. Zimbabwe didn't win any of his 26 Tests.
Odd goings on in Taunton, where Somerset fielded one S Trimnell against Gloucestershire. He made 92 and 58 not out. Nothing odd there, except that Trimnell was actually Sidney Rippon, an established Somerset player. No reason was ever given for this odd behaviour.
1890 Doug Meintjes (South Africa)
1905 Harry Alexander (Australia)
1937 Charlie Stayers (West Indies)
1937 Lesley Johnston (Australia)
1955 Michael Taylor (Australia)
1960 Grant Paterson (Zimbabwe)
1974 Dale Benkenstein (South Africa)
1977 Usman Afzaal (England)
1977 Brighton Watambwa (Zimbabwe)
1984 Michael Beer (Australia)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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