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August 16 down the years

The ultimate quick?

Jeff Thomson hurries his way into the world

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Jeff Thomson: one of the greats
Jeff Thomson: one of the greats © Getty Images
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1950
Birth of perhaps the fastest bowler of all time. When Jeff Thomson took 0 for 110 on his Test debut in 1972-73, no one knew he had a broken toe - nor could they have suspected the havoc he would wreak on his recall against England in 1974-75. He generated terrifying pace and steep bounce from a slingshot action, and took 33 cheap wickets to help Dennis Lillee destroy England 4-1 and regain the Ashes. The following season he and Lillee had a similarly traumatic effect on the touring West Indians. Held back by assorted major injuries, Thommo nevertheless took exactly 200 Test wickets (100 of them against England) and left behind memories of one of the great fast-bowling partnerships.

1950
When Alf Valentine took his sixth wicket of the innings, his 10th of the match and 33rd of the series, West Indies had dismissed England for 103 to take the Oval Test by an innings and complete a 3-1 win, their first in a series in England. The Three Ws in their batting line-up (Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott) were as famous as the two young spinners who were commemorated in a special calypso, "those two little pals of mine" Sonny Ramadhin and Valentine.

1974
Birth of Shivnarine Chanderpaul. When he made his debut against England in Georgetown in 1993-94, he was the first teenager to play in a Test for West Indies since Elquemedo Willett in 1972-73. Chanderpaul's slim frame encases the ideal temperament for a Test batsman. He scored only two hundreds in his first 53 Tests, but improved that ratio significantly after that. His career run-graph took a turn upwards from India's tour in 2006 - he scored seven hundreds, 14 half-centuries and averaged 73.09 from 23 Tests in the next three years. In 2005 he had been appointed captain and celebrated with a double-hundred in his home ground in Guyana. But he quit the next year to concentrate on his batting. From then on Chanderpaul became a run machine, reaching 10,000 Test runs in his 140th Test, in 2012 against Australia - in characteristic fashion, while trying to save the match. He hung at the crease like a limpet during the many times the side was in trouble, and churned out hundreds, seemingly at will.

2009
Charles Coventry equalled the then-highest score in ODIs. Against Bangladesh, with Zimbabwe playing to save the series, Coventry played a superbly paced innings to reach an unbeaten 194 (off 154 balls) and get his maiden ODI hundred. But despite equalling Saeed Anwar's record, and single-handedly taking Zimbabwe past 300 - a total far more than what Bangladesh had chased before - he ended on the losing side. Tamim Iqbal's match-winning 154 stole Coventry's thunder, and six months later Sachin Tendulkar took the record, with the format's first double-hundred.

2000
Steve Waugh and the man he once called the best one-day batsman in the world, Michael Bevan (106), put on 222 to help beat South Africa in an ODI at the Colonial Stadium in Melbourne, the first international match to be played indoors.

1860
One of the most influential cricketing figures of all time was born. Martin, Lord Hawke, averaged only 7.85 with the bat in his five Tests - but he was better known as a leader of men. He captained England in four of those matches and set an all-time record by leading Yorkshire to the County Championship eight times from 1893 to 1908. He introduced winter pay for professionals and - with the exception of John Wisden himself - was the oldest Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

1985
Unsung medium-pace swing bowler Richard Ellison completed figures of 6 for 77 on his way to 10 wickets in the Edgbaston Test against Australia, which England won by an innings to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

1905
At The Oval, against Australia, on his 33rd birthday, Arthur Jones became the first substitute to keep wicket in a Test, catching Warwick Armstrong off George Hirst. Jones' Test averages were nothing to write home about (13.85 with the bat, 44.33 with the ball) but he was better known as a fielder. Sensational in the slips, he was credited with inventing the gully position. He captained Nottinghamshire from 1900 until just before his death from tuberculosis in 1914.

Other birthdays
1934 Sam Trimble (Australia)
1944 Mufasir-ul-Haq (Pakistan)
1952 Mahes Goonatilleke (Sri Lanka)
1957 Randhir Singh (India)
1964 Howard Johnson (USA)
1965 Joe Harris (Canada)
1983 Narsingh Deonarine (West Indies)

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