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April 20 down the years

Fantastic Mr Fox

The birth of "Foxy" Fowler, and a monstrous partnership

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Graeme Fowler celebrates his double-hundred
Graeme Fowler celebrates his double-hundred © Getty Images

A fox is born. Graeme "Foxy" Fowler is the answer to a presentable cricket trivia question: Who made 201 in his penultimate Test before being dropped for good at the age of 27? Fowler's masterpiece came in Madras, but the following summer Graham Gooch was available again and Fowler lost his place for country and even county after a startling loss of form. Upon retirement he worked in the media for a while, and he set up Durham's centre of excellence in 1996.

A monstrous stand between Aamer Sohail and Inzamam-ul-Haq, as Pakistan took New Zealand to the cleaners in Sharjah. They added 263 for the second wicket, at the time a record one-day international partnership for any wicket, with Sohail belting 134 and Inzamam 137. Ironically, the only two sixes came from Saeed Anwar and Wasim Akram, who had time for only 44 runs between them. To cap a bad day for a well-beaten New Zealand side, Dion Nash was fined for swearing at Anwar.

Birth of Peter Toohey, the diminutive middle-order batsman from New South Wales who played 15 Tests for Australia in the Packer years. A right-hander with a touch of Doug Walters about him, he started well in 1977-78, with two fine half-centuries on debut against India in Brisbane, and a magnificent double of 122 and 97 in Jamaica, just weeks after he was hit in the face by an Andy Roberts bouncer. But England exposed him the following winter, and in five Tests, Toohey made two zeroes, three ones, and only one fifty.

Test cricket continued to be a breeze for Alvin Kallicharran, who made his second hundred in his second Test innings against New Zealand in Trinidad. This 101 put West Indies in control of their series decider, but after Garry Sobers declined to enforce the follow-on, the Kiwis held on at seven-down in their second innings. It meant that the series ended 0-0: it is hard to imagine such a stalemate in a five-Test series nowadays.

Birth of the second-oldest debutant in Test history. Pakistan offspinner Miran Bakhsh was 47 years 275 days when, in his last season of first-class cricket, in 1954-55, he was called up against India in Lahore. It was a short-lived experiment - he took only two wickets in his two Tests - but Miran did at least end with a first-class bowling average of 19.

Birth of a man who represented England without playing for a first-class county. David Townsend represented Oxford University and Durham, long before they were awarded first-class status, and also England, for whom he opened the batting in three Tests in the West Indies in 1934-35. He struggled, failing to reach 50, as the Windies turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory, their first-ever series win.

Other birthdays
1930 Alan Oakman (England)
1964 Paul Nobes (Australia)
1978 Carl Greenidge (England)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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