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South Africa's costliest dropped catch
"How does it feel to drop the World Cup, Herschelle?" That's what Steve Waugh supposedly said to Herschelle Gibbs on this day, when Gibbs, in prematurely celebrating catching Waugh at midwicket, threw away a chance to put Australia out of the tournament at Headingley. Waugh had 56 at the time - he'd come to the crease with Australia on the brink at 48 for 3, chasing 272 - and went on to an awesome 120 not out. Not only did it keep Australia in the Cup, it put them above South Africa in the Super Six stage, an incidental detail at the time but one that would be of monstrous significance when the two sides tied in the semi-final four days later.
In Sarodar, India, one of England's most stylish batsmen is born. Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji - Duleep to most people - was the nephew of the great Ranjitsinhji, and had all of his wristy class and grace. His finest innings was a sensational 173 against Australia at Lord's in 1930. It was Duleep's first innings in an Ashes Test, but he ended up on the losing side after Don Bradman piled up 254. He only played 12 Tests because of poor health, but ended with an outstanding average of 58. Duleep also cracked 333 in a day for Sussex, against Northamptonshire at Hove in 1930. He later became High Commissioner for India in Australia. He died of a heart attack in Bombay in 1959.
Raman Subba Row saved England with a three-day vigil after they had conceded a first-innings lead of 321 at Edgbaston. After a 171-minute half-century in the first innings - England were bowled out for 195, following which a hundred from Neil Harvey and a half-century from debutant Bill Lawry put Australia in a seemingly match-winning situation - Row batted between days three and five for a four-hour 112. But there was no danger of a collapse after his dismissal, even though England were still trailing, because Ted Dexter took up the task. His 180 took nearly six hours and saved the first Ashes Test in Edgbaston in 52 years.
In the days when cricket was not able to gorge on money from TV, a long-running dispute that threatened a blackout of English cricket on TV was resolved. The BBC upped their offer for rights to the 1975 Ashes and the 1976 West Indies series, as well as the 1975 World Cup and all English domestic one-day competitions for two summers, to £270,000.
Birth of Chris Cairns, the star of a largely faceless New Zealand team. With his clean, muscular hitting, athletic fielding and urgent new-ball bowling, Cairns was for a time arguably the only true allrounder in world cricket, until a string of injuries curtailed his bowling effectiveness. He became only the sixth man to achieve an allrounder's double of 200 wickets and 3000 runs in March 2004, and later that year broke the record for most sixes in Test cricket. He retired from international cricket in 2006, and played in the Indian Cricket League in 2008.
An amazing performance from Alec Bedser for England against Australia in the first Test at Trent Bridge - and an ultimately fruitless one. No bowler has returned better match figures than Bedser's 14 for 99 in a Test that his side has not won. Here he took 7 for 55 in the first innings, and England still trailed by 105. Bedser then blew the Aussies away a second time with 7 for 44, but with England seemingly on course for victory, rain washed out all of the fourth day and most of the fifth.
A historic victory for England at Old Trafford - their first in the opening Test of a home Ashes series for 42 years. It was a game they bossed from the moment John Snow and Geoff Arnold ripped out the Aussies for 142 in their first innings. England's debutant, one Tony Greig, had a match to remember. He top-scored in each innings, with 57 and 62, and took 4 for 53 in the second innings. Greig had already had some experience of the big time, though - he played in the unofficial series against Rest of the World in 1970.
A less auspicious start to an Ashes series for England. They only had to bat out 83 overs to save the first Test on a good Headingley pitch, but they were cleaned up inside two sessions as Terry Alderman, aided and abetted by a rapacious slip cordon, took his second five-for of the match. Amazingly, England started this series as favourites (they went on to lose 0-4; were it not for rain it would have been 0-6), but they blundered from the start. David Gower left out his spinner, John Emburey, and put Australia in on a belter. Two days later they were 601 for 7 - Steve Waugh made 177 of them without looking like getting out - and England never recovered.
A prodigy is born. It's amazing to think that Maninder Singh's last Test appearance came when he was 27. He was only 17 years 193 days old when he made his Test debut, against Pakistan in Karachi in 1982-83, and was India's youngest cricketer at the time. Maninder was a subtle slow left-armer who seemed a natural heir to Bishan Bedi, even down to the fact that he bowled in a patka. But at the top level he was a bit of a fair-weather performer. Against the heavyweights (Australia, West Indies and Pakistan), he took 45 wickets in 26 Tests at an average of 55. Against the rest (England, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe) he took 43 wickets in only nine Tests at an average of 19. He was also the last man out in the tied Test against Australia in Madras earlier that winter.
A Jekyll-and-Hyde cricketer is born. Nottinghamshire's George Gunn mixed dashing strokeplay and dour defence with bewildering frequency, and as he walked to the crease nobody quite knew which mood would take him. His zenith was his debut, when he made 119 and 74 against Australia in Sydney in 1907-08. But England lost that, as they did when Gunn made his other Test century, on the same ground that same winter. He hadn't played cricket for 17 years when he returned in the West Indies in 1929-30. Only John Tracios of South Africa and Zimbabwe has had a longer interval between Test appearances. Gunn's brother John and uncle William also played Test cricket. George, who ended with a Test career of exactly 40, died in Sussex in 1958.
1887 Neville Tufnell (England)
1888 Roy Minnett (Australia)
1931 Esme Irwin (England)
1967 Angus Mackay (Zimbabwe)
1970 Shaun Young (Australia)
1972 Alex Tait (New Zealand)
1976 Ian Redpath (Australia)
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