August 12 down the years

The end of the road

A less-than-ideal conclusion

1991
For three giants of West Indies cricket, their last day in Test cricket ended in defeat at The Oval. Jeff Dujon finished with 272 dismissals, the record for a West Indies wicketkeeper, Malcolm Marshall with 376 wickets at only 20.94 each - and Viv Richards hit 60 to keep his Test batting average over 50. But England's win gave them a share of the series.

1972
Australia's captain Ian Chappell and his brother Greg became the first pair of brothers to score centuries in the same Test innings. Although the destination of the Ashes had already been decided, Australia's young team won this fifth Test at The Oval to square the series and herald their domination of the 1970s.

1940
Birth of one of South Africa's most competitive and successful allrounders. Eddie Barlow averaged 45.74 in Tests, hitting seven centuries - and took 40 wickets with his medium-pace, all while playing in glasses. Playing for the Rest of the World against England at Headingley in 1970, he took four wickets in five balls, including a hat-trick. A promising opening partnership with Barry Richards was halted at the embryonic stage by South Africa's exclusion from Test cricket after 1969-70.

1996
At Headingley, a funny thing - a Test wicket for Michael Atherton. There were only ever two, and his old Lancashire buddy Wasim Akram was the man with egg on his face here. Atherton brought himself on for his first Test bowl in six years as the match petered out into a draw, and Akram looked nonplussed when given out lbw as he thrust his front pad forward.

1986
Another rarity - a New Zealand Test victory in England. This was only the second in 33 attempts, and came courtesy of yet another storming display from Richard Hadlee. As well as a ten-for, he slashed 68 with the match in the balance. But, bizarrely, the highest scores in the match came from two offspinners called John, batting at No. 8: New Zealand's Bracewell made 110, and England's Emburey 75.

2013
An Australian collapse at Chester-le-Street as Stuart Broad ripped through their line-up with 6 for 20 in 45 balls. Chasing 299, Australia were cruising at 168 for 2 and seemed likely to head into the final Test with a chance of squaring the series but Broad thwarted their plans with a searing burst, helping England go 3-0 up in the series. His 11 for 121 was the best match-figures for an England bowler in the Ashes since Phil Tufnell's 11 for 93 at The Oval in 1997.

1969
Stuart Williams, born today, was a romantic young West Indian strokeplayer whose cavalier method - step back and strafe everything through the covers - became increasingly stereotyped as his career wore on. The high point was a lone Test century, made against India, but Williams passed 50 only four times in 52 innings. In 2004 he had a finger amputated after a fielding accident. He later became a selector.

1976
Birth of Pedro Collins, who was for a long time best remembered for a testicle injury courtesy a Jason Gillespie delivery. Collins was a keen footballer before he fell into cricket, and came to notice as a fast-medium left-armer who found enough swing into the right-hander to cause the best batsmen difficulty. In November 1998 he took three wickets in 11 balls for West Indies A against India, a spell that led to his Test debut against Australia the following March. Collins had a knack for big scalps, dismissing Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh three times in five Tests each.

1923
Birth of a man whose dismissal led to repercussions for the umpire. In his debut Test innings, against England in Kingston in 1953-54, John (JK) Holt was on 94 when he was given out lbw by umpire Perry Burke, whose family were assaulted by spectators. West Indies won by 140 runs, and Holt got his maiden Test hundred in the next Test, scoring 166 in another win in Bridgetown.

1924
The quintessential county medium-pacer Derek Shackleton was born. In 20 consecutive seasons, he took at least 100 wickets for Hampshire, putting him second on the all-time list. Unlucky to be a contemporary of Trueman, Statham, Tyson and Loader, he had a gap of over 10 years in his Test career, returning to take three wickets in four balls in the famous nerve-wracking draw against West Indies at Lord's in 1963.

1956
Birth of Sidath Wettimuny, who opened the batting in Sri Lanka's debut Test, against England in Colombo in 1981-82, and played in 23 Tests in all. His greatest moment was in batting all day in a Test match at Lord's, his 190 helping Sri Lanka to a draw. He and Mithra Wettimuny opened the innings together against New Zealand in 1982-83, a rare achievement for a pair of brothers.

1941
Death of one of England's greatest slow bowlers, Bobby Peel. With eight wickets in hand, Australia needed only 64 runs to win the first Test of the 1894-95 series - but a hungover Peel was held under a cold shower before being sent out to take 6 for 67 and win the match by just 10 runs. It was the only time before Headingley in 1981 that a team won a Test match after following on. A superb slow left-armer, little Bobby finished his Test career with 102 wickets at only 16.81 apiece - but the drink got him in the end: his county career ended when he allegedly relieved himself on the pitch in front of his captain.

1884
In a drawn match at The Oval, Australia's Billy Murdoch completed his innings of 211, the first double-century in Test cricket. He was dropped three times, all off poor George Ulyett, but Wisden described it as "a magnificent innings". Murdoch went on to play one Test for England, in Cape Town in 1891-92.

1997
In a drawn match against India at Colombo's Sinhalese Sports Club, Sanath Jayasuriya became one of only seven batsmen to be dismissed for 199 in a Test innings. The others have been Mudassar Nazar in 1984-85, Mohammad Azharuddin in 1986-87, Matthew Elliott in 1997, Steve Waugh in 1998-99, Younis Khan in 2005-06 and Ian Bell in 2008.

1886
The innings of 170 by WG Grace was a new highest score for England. Easily the top score in the match, at The Oval, it helped England win by an innings. His only other Test hundred (152 in 1880) was also scored against Australia at The Oval, and was also a highest score for England at the time.

1897
Birth of the first man to captain West Indies to victory in a Test match. Marius "Maurice" Fernandes averaged only 12.25 with the bat in his two Tests - but in the second, in Georgetown in 1929-30, he made some useful runs and masterminded a win by 289 runs that squared the series.

1960
Glamorgan pace bowler Greg Thomas was born. He was genuinely fast, but injury wrecked his chance of developing into a force at Test level. Meanwhile, the Caribbean in 1985-86 wasn't the place to make your debut. Confronted by Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes & Co., Thomas took only eight wickets at 45.50, as England lost all five Tests. He was also bowled by the first ball he faced in Test cricket - but as a bowler he left a sense of what might have been.

1933
The Test debut of Charles "Father" Marriott, a 37-year-old schoolmaster at Dulwich College, who only played first-class cricket when teaching commitments permitted. Against West Indies at The Oval, the Irish-educated Marriott took 11 for 96 as England won by an innings in 10 minutes over two days. It was his only match for England.

2002
Morocco hosted an international cricket match for the first time on this day, when Pakistan and South Africa played the opening game of the Morocco Cup in Tangier. The venue wasn't the only highlight: it was South Africa's first game since the death of Hansie Cronje two months previously. Wasim Akram bowled the first ball of the match - his world-record 335th ODI. Shaun Pollock, South Africa's captain, dedicated his team's 54-run win to Cronje, saying they had "tried to produce a performance he would be proud of".

Other birthdays
1899 Ben Sealey (West Indies)
1961 Mark Priest (New Zealand)
1972 Gyanendra Pandey (India)
1987 Gordon Goudie (Scotland)