June 22 down the years

Behind the eight-ball

Bob Massie has an impressive debut
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1972
The beginning of Massie's match. When the Lord's Test between England and Australia began, Bob Massie was just another nervous debutant - and one who'd been rejected by Northants after a trial two years previously. Four days later he'd achieved cricketing immortality. Swinging the ball fiendishly in helpful conditions, Massie took 8 for 84 and 8 for 53, the best figures by a debutant until Narendra Hirwani destroyed West Indies in 1987-88. England simply had no answer. Massie's figures were almost as impressive as his enormous sideburns. He was the talk of the town for the next few weeks, but he only played five more Tests. And within 18 months of his Test debut he was dropped by his state side, Western Australia.

1946
The start of England's first post-war Test, and an unforgettable debut for Alec Bedser. He had to wait until he was 27 to play Test cricket, but soon made up for lost time with 7 for 49 in his first innings, and 11 wickets in all, as England hammered India inside two-and-a-half days at Lord's. Bedser was the king of seven-fors: he took another in his second Test, and five in all during his Test career.

1996
Almost five years after making his one-day debut, Sourav Ganguly stroked a sumptuous 131 on his Test debut, for India against England at Lord's. Earlier in the match Jack Russell, a less aesthetically appealing left-hander, made his second Test hundred - and the first by an England wicketkeeper at Lord's for 44 years. Three Tests later he was dropped. Russell also caught Rahul Dravid for 95, thus preventing the first instance of two debutants making a century in the same Test. This drawn match is best remembered as the 66th and last of Dickie Bird's career. As he entered the field the players formed a guard of honour, but Bird wiped away the tears to trigger Mike Atherton lbw for 0 to the fifth ball of the match. It was all deliciously ironic: Bird was usually a notorious not-outer when it came to lbws.

1965
England clinched a seven-wicket win over New Zealand at Lord's with only 15 minutes to spare. But the match is best remembered as the last of Fred Trueman's 67-Test career. He finished with 2 for 40 and 0 for 69, and took his wickets total to 307, a world record for just over ten years until West Indies' Lance Gibbs usurped him.

1983
World Cup semi-final day, and a nasty surprise for England at Old Trafford, where India beat them by six wickets. England were restricted to 213 on a poor pitch - nobody topped Graeme Fowler's 33 - and India cantered home with five overs to spare. Sandeep Patil, with what Wisden Cricket Monthly described as "a cascade of volatile drives", was the match-winner; he completed a 32-ball fifty with the winning hit.

1983
In the other semi-final, Clive Lloyd won the toss - and West Indies the match. The two events weren't entirely unrelated. Pakistan wobbled to 184 for 8 on a typically bouncy Oval surface, and West Indies eased home by eight wickets with 11 overs to spare.

1984
Jerome Taylor, born today, made his Test debut in 2003 on the back of some impressive domestic performances but after three wickets in his first three Tests, he got his next chance only in 2006. He didn't let that one slip, doing especially well against India - getting the ball to lift in the final Test in Kingston, where he got his maiden five-for (nine for the match). He also shone in ODIs, taking 4 for 49 against Australia in a Champions Trophy match in 2006 and a five-for against Zimbabwe the next year. In 2009, Taylor led West Indies to a famous Test win, taking 5 for 11 to bowl England out for 51 in Kingston.

1948
A Dutch opener is born - in Barbados. Nolan Clarke hammered 159 for Barbados against Mike Denness' England tourists in 1973-74 with what the Wisden Almanack described as "such power and confidence that might have been devastating international attacks for years". Twenty-two years later, at the age of 47, Clarke finally got to play international cricket, for the Netherlands in the 1995-96 World Cup, although he only got 50 runs in five innings. He'd done more than most to get them there, having scored 121 not out against Bermuda in the ICC Trophy playoff that clinched their place.

1991
Match-saving heroics from Robin Smith at Lord's. Smith pounded 148 not out against West Indies, after England had been in real trouble at 84 for 5, still 335 behind West Indies in the first innings. This was Smith's zenith: his average roared back over 50, and he ended the series with a record of 27 Tests, 2051 runs, and an average of 52.58. A year later he entered the dark alley of legspin, when Mushtaq Ahmed, and then Shane Warne, made fatal dents into his confidence. Also in this match, Derek Pringle took his third and final Test five-for. Believe it or not, they were all against West Indies.

1855
Birth of the first black man to play for Australia. Sam Morris, who was born in Hobart of West Indian parents, was a decent allrounder who played one Test, in Melbourne in 1884-85. He died in Victoria in 1931.

Other birthdays
1910 Elsie Deane (Australia)
1923 Jimmy Cameron (West Indies)
1935 Vaman Kumar (India)
1947 Murray Webb (New Zealand)
1958 Sudha Shah (India)
1966 Meyrick Pringle (South Africa)
1979 Peter McGlashan (New Zealand)
1980 Kavita Roy (India)
1981 Alex Gidman (England)