Australia scrape past India
in Madras, Australia beat India by one run, the narrowest victory in World Cup history. That underrated one-day player Geoff Marsh made the third of nine hundreds, but India really should have won this one. Navjot Sidhu assaulted Peter Taylor and Allan Border in a 79-ball 73 that included five sixes, and at 207 for 2 - with 64 needed off 15.5 overs - the co-hosts were cruising. But Craig McDermott worked his way through the middle order, and a flurry of run-outs pushed India to the brink. Steve Waugh nervelessly pushed them over by castling Maninder Singh with the penultimate delivery.
On the same day, an Allan Lamb special gave England a memorable victory over West Indies in Gujranwala in their first match of the World Cup. They appeared to have no chance at 162 for 7, with 82 needed off nine overs. But Lamb, who had been subdued until then, came to the party at the perfect time. Courtney Walsh had bowled majestically early on - 5-0-11-0 - but his last 4.3 overs disappeared for 54 as Lamb got stuck in. He finished unbeaten on 67 and England completed a remarkable victory by two wickets with three balls to spare.
One of the most technically correct keepers in the world was born today. However, Prasanna Jayawardene, had to wait his turn - owing largely to Kumar Sangakkara's proficiency as a batsman in addition to his reliable glovework. Jayawardene's batting improved steadily, and by the tour of New Zealand in 2006-07, he established himself in the Test side, allowing Sangakkara to play as a specialist batsman. In 2011, the two put together a match-saving double-century stand against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. Jayawardene has also made centuries against Bangladesh, England and India.
A good day for two debutants in the first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand in Lahore. With Pakistan 55 for 4 and struggling, the 19-year-old Javed Miandad stroked a stately 163, and added 281 for the fifth wicket with Asif Iqbal. Javed was eventually dismissed by offspinner Peter Petherick, who was making his Test debut at the age of 34, and Petherick went on to dismiss Wasim Raja and Intikhab Alam with his next two deliveries to complete a famous hat-trick. He was only the second person to do so on debut, after Maurice Allom of England in 1929-30. But whereas Miandad went on to make almost 9000 Test runs, Petherick played only five more Tests.
A more rewarding career awaited the third man to take a hat-trick on debut. Damien Fleming, who would surely have trebled his 20 Test appearances had he been born anywhere but Australia, achieved the feat on this day in the second Test in Rawalpindi. It was a triumvirate every bit as auspicious as Petherick's: Aamer Malik, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saleem Malik. Sadly for Australia, Saleem Malik, who was dropped by Mark Taylor when 20, already had 237 to his name - an innings that lies 16th in the Wisden 100 list of the greatest Test performances - and had salvaged a draw for Pakistan that looked unlikely when they were forced to follow on. As the game petered out, that deadly duo Taylor and Michael Slater took their only Test wickets. Rashid Latif and Waqar Younis, hang your heads in shame.
He had a batting average of 46 and a bowling average of 12.83, but Mick Malone, who was born today, played only one Test, at The Oval in 1977, the last for both Australia and England before Kerry Packer's recruits ran off to join the circus. Alderman-esque in style, Malone found overhead conditions favourable and bowled virtually throughout England's first innings for figures of 47-20-63-5. He played for Lancashire in the early 1980s, but although he returned for eight one-day internationals in 1981-82, he did not play Test cricket again.
It was men against boys in Dhaka, where Brian Lara flayed 117 off 62 balls in the Millennium Cup match against Bangladesh. His century came up in 45 balls, then the second fastest in one-day history, and after 15 overs West Indies were 160 for 1. Khaled Mahmud's first two overs went for 40. West Indies slowed down after Lara's dismissal, but their total of 314 for 6 was more than enough for a 109-run victory.
Geoff Cook, who was born today, was never quite able to transfer his county performances to Test level. For Northants, he made almost 25,000 first-class runs and formed a high-class opening partnership with Wayne Larkins, but in seven Tests he made only 203 runs. He seemed to have cracked it with consecutive, blink-and-you-won't-miss-much century opening stands with Chris Tavaré against India in 1982, but a difficult tour of Australia the following winter was his last as an England player. He went on to become chairman of the Cricketers Association and director of cricket at Durham CCC.