The fabulous Mohammad boys
Hanif and Sadiq Mohammad opened the batting for Pakistan in the first Test against New Zealand in Karachi, only the second instance of two brothers doing so in a Test. The first was at The Oval in 1880, when EM and WG Grace opened against Australia. This was Hanif's last Test - he played in all bar two of Pakistan's first 57 matches - and it ended in a draw despite the best efforts of offspinner Mohammad Nazir, who took 7 for 99, the best bowling figures by a Pakistan debutant until Mohammad Zahid took 7 for 66 against New Zealand in Rawalpindi in 1996-97.
In the second Test between Pakistan and New Zealand in Hyderabad, Sadiq and Mushtaq Mohammad became only the second pair of brothers (after Greg and Ian Chappell) to score hundreds in the same Test innings. Sadiq made 103 and Mushtaq 101 to set up a match-winning total of 473 for 8 declared. New Zealand were legspun to a ten-wicket defeat, with Mushtaq, Intikhab Alam and Javed Miandad (playing in only his second Test), sharing 10 wickets. Miandad actually started off as a budding allrounder. His first seven Tests yielded 15 wickets, but the next 107 brought only two as he settled for becoming one of the world's best batsmen.
His presence in the commentary box makes it easy to forget that Ian Bishop, who was born today, is still relatively young. He reached 100 Test wickets in only his 21st Test, a West Indian record, and there was no limit to what he might have achieved had back problems not messed up his career. At his peak Bishop was fluent and hostile, but he was increasingly hamstrung by injuries. His last great performance came in the first match of his second comeback, when he took 5 for 32 at Headingley in 1995. That was his sixth five-for in 19 Tests, but he toiled through another 24 without claiming a seventh, before giving in to the inevitable after England's 1997-98 tour of the Caribbean.
In a tour match in Brisbane, Bob Taylor stumped Queensland's Wayne Broad off Geoff Miller to set a new world record for wicketkeeping dismissals. It was his 1528th, passing the record previously held by John Murray, the dapper Middlesex and England keeper. By the time Taylor retired in 1988 he had increased that to 1648 dismissals. England lost the match, though, the first of a tour that would see them relinquish the Ashes, by 171 runs.
The debut of the youngest man to play Test cricket. Officially, and despite the presence of a wispy moustache, Hasan Raza was 14 years and 227 days old when he took the field in the second Test against Zimbabwe in Faisalabad, shattering Mushtaq Mohammad's existing record of 15 years and 124 days. Pakistan birth certificates remain about as reliable as English wrist-spinners, however, and the PCB's chief executive, Majid Khan, said Raza was anything up to a year older. Either way, he made a decent fist of things, stroking 27 in a low-scoring game that Pakistan won at a canter to take the series 1-0. He was then dropped, until he made a fighting comeback in the third Test in Sharjah against the Australians in a series where Pakistan were whitewashed 0-3 in 2002. He made an unbeaten 54 and 68.
Birth of the nuggety Australian Ken Mackay, a bits-and-pieces cricketer par excellence. Known as "Slasher" because that was one thing he never did with the bat, he was a stodgy, immovable lower middle-order object and a handy low-slung medium-pacer, as well as being a ferocious gum-chewer with the capacity to annoy the hell out of opposing bowlers. He made 13 Test fifties without reaching three figures, mostly when it mattered - Australia never lost a game in which Mackay made a half-century, and he averaged only 8.91 (with six ducks in 12 innings) in Australian defeats. His finest moments came during the classic series against West Indies in 1960-61. He salvaged a draw in the fourth Test in Adelaide and scampered the winning bye in the fifth in Melbourne. Mackay died of a heart attack in his native Queensland in 1982.
A host of famous names made their debuts in the one-off Test between Australia and Pakistan in Karachi. Majid Khan and Asif Iqbal - later much better-known as batsmen - took the new ball, but it was the two new boys at the top of the order who stole the show. Khalid "Billy" Ibadulla (166) and Abdul Kadir (95) added 249 for the first wicket on the first day, the highest partnership by two Test debutants, and Pakistan's highest for the first wicket at the time. Ibadulla also became the first Pakistani to make a century on Test debut. The match, which ended in a draw, was also notable for twin tons by Australian captain Bob Simpson.
A mighty innings from Dave Houghton was not enough to give Zimbabwe their maiden Test victory against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo. Houghton cracked 266, the highest Test score by a Zimbabwean, to set up a total of 462 for 9. And when Sri Lanka ended the third day in disarray on 96 for 6, defeat looked inevitable. But Sri Lanka battened down the hatches, crawling to 218 in 116 overs in their first innings, and though they were forced to follow on, Sanjeeva Ranatunga took advantage of a lifeless surface to make his second hundred in as many Tests and secure a draw.
Charles McLeod, who played 17 Tests between 1894 and 1905, was born today. Though never a great force in Australian cricket he was an excellent all-round man. He was always a batsman of the ultra-careful school, very strong in defence, but undistinguished in style. For many seasons McLeod was also a member of the Victorian XI in the inter-state matches.
1869 Charles Hime (South Africa)
1911 Netta Rheinberg (England)
1913 Molly Hide (England)
1928 Kenneth Hough (New Zealand)
1934 Arvind Apte (India)
1967 Asim Butt (Scotland)
1968 Adrian Dale (England)
1974 Gagan Khoda (India)
1980 Anna Dodd (New Zealand)
1983 Marjolijn Molenaar (Netherlands)
1984 Wriddhiman Saha (India)