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July 15 down the years

Fagg's unique double-hundreds

Two doubles in a first-class match

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Arthur Fagg: 202 on the first day and 244 on the third
Arthur Fagg: 202 on the first day and 244 on the third © Getty Images

Kent's 23-year-old Arthur Fagg became the only man in history to score two double-centuries in a first-class match when he cracked 202 not out in two hours and 50 minutes against Essex in Colchester. He had already made a five-hour 244 on the first day, including a century before lunch. Less than 18 months earlier Fagg had returned early from the tour of Australia on a stretcher after contracting rheumatic fever, and subsequently had missed the entire 1937 summer.

An innings of spellbinding brilliance from Aravinda de Silva. Even though Kent were always behind the eight ball in the Benson & Hedges Cup final against Lancashire - they eventually lost by 35 runs - de Silva laced 112 off just 95 balls, including three sixes and 11 fours. It was a real I-was-there innings. He was the first man on a losing side to win the Gold Award in a B&H final, and the purity of his performance almost brought a tear to the eye.

A muscular, bludgeoning fast bowler is born. Andre Nel has belied his conservative Afrikaans upbringing by amassing one of South African cricket's most chequered disciplinary records. His early career was blighted by a string of misdemeanours and it was during the home West Indies series in 2003-04, during which he got married, that he established himself as a permanent member of the Test team. He came into his own during the tour of Australia in 2005, where he was an intimidating presence with 14 wickets and an attacking mindset. But with South Africa settling on a young pace-bowling attack, led by Dale Steyn, opportunities were increasingly limited and Nel announced his international retirement in March 2009.

Birth of the strapping Victorian fast bowler Alan Hurst, whose injury problems looked set to sentence him to one-cap-wonder status until he made a successful return in the late 1970s. Hurst made his debut in 1973-74, against New Zealand in Adelaide, but was dropped after a modest performance. Four years later he returned to a Packer-gutted side, and he had a storming 1978-79 season. In six Ashes Tests he grabbed 25 wickets, even though a depleted Australia were hammered 1-5, and then blew Pakistan away with nine wickets in Perth.

Birth of another Victorian who is a first-class accumulator and a T20 specialist. David Hussey, like his older brother Michael, had to score a mountain of runs in the domestic circuit before the selectors took notice. He made his T20 debut in early 2008 and was a surprise pick in that year's IPL auction - bought by Kolkata for US$ 625,000, much more than his brother or Ricky Ponting fetched. He started his one-day career with three half-centuries in five innings but struck a lean patch in 2009 before getting his first hundred against Scotland.

A modest return for Pakistani offspinner Haseeb Ahsan, who was born today. In 12 Tests he took 27 wickets at an average close to 50. His best figures came in Madras in 1960-61, when India piled up 539 and Ahsan took 84-19-202-6. He never bowled in a Test in England for fear that he would be no-balled for throwing, and was actually called against India in the first Test in Bombay in 1960-61. Ahsan returned to England as Pakistan's tour manager in 1987 and was also one of the most influential selectors in Pakistan. Ahsan died at the age of 73 in Karachi.

A great day for Wisden - John Wisden, who bowled all 10 batsmen in the second innings of the match between North and South at Lord's. It's the only instance of an all-bowled 10-for in a first-class match. In all, 30 wickets fell... and 25 of them were bowled. Of the other five, three were run-out.

South Africa's first captain is born. Owen Dunell's two Tests were South Africa's first two as well, against England in 1888-89. He was captain in Port Elizabeth, but played only as a batsman in the match that followed, in Cape Town. He died in France in 1929.

The last ball of a Benson & Hedges final, and Nottinghamshire needed four runs to beat Essex. Two 40-year-olds were in the thick of things: John Lever speared the final ball towards Eddie Hemmings' leg stump, but Hemmings managed to squeeze it square on the off side up the hill at Lord's for the winning boundary. A memorable three-wicket victory - and catharsis too: Notts had lost a famous NatWest Trophy final to Essex off the last ball four years earlier.

The birth of a great cricket writer. Raymond Robertson-Glasgow, nicknamed "Crusoe", was a fast bowler for Oxford University and Somerset - in a career spanning 15 years - but he is most remembered for his writings on the game. He became a cricket correspondent in 1933 (for the Morning Post) and later wrote for the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, and the Sunday Times. He also authored many books, all of which were infused with an infallible sense of humour.

Other birthdays
1909 John Cochran (South Africa)
1955 Sunil Jayasinghe (Sri Lanka)
1956 Harold Joseph (West Indies)
1960 Gary Robertson (New Zealand)
1976 Dinuka Hettiarachchi (Sri Lanka)
1977 Caitriona Beggs (Ireland)
1984 Nawroz Mangal (Afghanistan)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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