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September 18 down the years

The fleet-footed Dazzler

England welcomes a future strike bowler

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You can't keep a good man down
You can't keep a good man down © AFP
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1970
England's leading strike bowler of the 1990s was born. Darren Gough made a Test debut worthy of his nickname, Dazzler, hitting 65 and taking six wickets against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1994. Another flashing fifty followed in Sydney that winter, to add to 6 for 49 in the first innings - but the batting fell away over the years. He bowed out from Test cricket to prolong his one-day career, moved to Essex and back to Yorkshire, as their captain, and added to his profile by winning a national celebrity ballroom dancing show on the BBC. He quit cricket at the end of 2008 and spent the winter as a team captain in a low-brow BBC game show.

1958
A talented and tragic fast bowler was born. Although he took 45 wickets in 15 Tests for West Indies, Winston Davis made his real mark in ODI cricket. His figures of 7 for 51 against Australia at Headingley in 1983 were for 20 years the best in any World Cup match. He was paralysed after suffering spinal injuries when he fell from a tree in 1998.

1997
The first day of the first Test to feature three pairs of brothers in one Test team. Andy and Grant Flower, Bryan and Paul Strang, and Gavin and John Rennie played for Zimbabwe against New Zealand in Harare. Guy Whittall was also in the team; his cousin Andy was 12th man. Grant Flower made a century in each innings of a drawn match.

1937
The first Test cricketer from the "smaller" West Indian islands was born, in St Vincent. Alphonso (Alfie) Roberts was only 18 when he played in his only Test, in Auckland in 1955-56. His 28 in the first innings didn't look bad in a total of only 145 - but he was out for 0 as West Indies folded for 77 in the second, losing by 190 runs.

1997
That quality batsman Sourav Ganguly made only 2 in an ODI against Pakistan in Toronto on this day - but then surprised a few people by taking 5 for 16 in 10 overs of medium pace. India's win by 34 runs gave them a decisive 3-0 lead in the series.

1958
Birth of England allrounder Derek Pringle, whose medium-pace bowling seemed to be made for the one-day game. For example, he took 3 for 22 in 10 overs in the 1992 World Cup final. But for such a big man his batting was irritatingly meek: his 18 not out in the final was his highest World Cup score. Much the same story in Tests - only one fifty in 50 innings at an average of 15.10 - but he had more success with the ball. First capped while still at university, he left an impression of sleepy under-achievement - but perhaps he was simply someone who was never going to kick on. Pringle went on to be cricket correspondent of the Daily Telegraph.

1940
The birth of Bruce Murray, a "tall, unflappable, and somewhat dour opening batsman" from New Zealand, according to Wisden. He managed 54 on his Test debut against India in 1968-69, and followed it up with 74 in the next match. His career-best 90 came in the second Test in Lahore in 1969, where New Zealand beat Pakistan for the first time. Unluckily enough, his 13th Test proved to be his final one - he made 1 in both innings against England in 1970-71.

Other birthdays
1892 Sam Staples (England)
1982 Nicky Peng

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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