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April 26 down the years

A debut double

Rudolph makes 222

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Jacques Rudolph: went large for his first
Jacques Rudolph: went large for his first © Getty Images
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2003
A double-century on debut. Jacques Rudolph batted more than eight and a half hours in steamy Chittagong to become the fifth batsman to reach the landmark in his first Test. He added 429 with Boeta Dippenaar (177) - the highest by a South African pair for any wicket. South Africa won by an innings and 60 runs.

1985
The nightmare start to Ken Rutherford's Test career continued as the third Test between West Indies and New Zealand got underway in Barbados. Rutherford had made 0, 0 (when he was run out without facing a ball to bag a debut pair) and 4 opening the innings; here he was dropped down to No. 3... and went first ball to Malcolm Marshall. It didn't get much better for our Ken: he made 2 in the second innings, and 1 and 5 in the final Test, for a shocking debut series of 12 runs in seven innings. It got worse before it got better: Rutherford made three more noughts in his next five innings, but he went on to captain his country and play 56 Tests. He also once hammered 317 in a tour match at Scarborough in 1986.

1996
Shaun Pollock took four wickets in four balls in his first match for Warwickshire, against Leicestershire in the Benson & Hedges Cup match in Edgbaston. At one stage his figures were 5 for 1 - and Leicestershire were 9 for 5. Pollock ended with 6 for 21, a handshake from the watching Donald on the boundary, and his county cap.

2003
Another double-century, this time in Colombo. Stephen Fleming made his career best in a high-scoring draw, his 74th Test. He batted nearly two days (more than 10 hours) for his 274 and New Zealand declared at 515 for 7. Fleming's unbeaten half-century in the second innings took about half as long as his double-hundred in the first - he batted 303 minutes for 69.

1909
Birth of the Worcestershire allrounder Dick Howorth, who played five Tests for England in 1947-48. As a defensive left-handed batsman he could bat anywhere from No. 1 to No. 9, but left-arm bowling was his strongest suit. Howorth took a wicket with his first ball in Tests - the only Englishman to do so between 1924 and 1991 - when South Africa's Dennis Dyer was caught by Cliff Gladwin in the fifth Test at The Oval in 1947, and he took 6 for 124 in his next Test, against West Indies in Barbados. He died in Worcester in 1980.

1990
He's always remembered as one of Australia's greatest, grittiest batsmen, but when he bothered to bring himself on, Allan Border could be a very useful left-arm spinner. In Australia's 63-run Austral-Asia Cup victory over New Zealand in Sharjah on this day, Border cut a swathe through the Kiwis with a spell of 3 for 1 in 14 balls. Border's one-day bowling record was eminently respectable, and his average (73 wickets at 28.37) is lower than those of Ian Botham (28.54) and Courtney Walsh (30.54).

Other birthday
1874 Biddy Anderson (South Africa)
1945 VK Ramaswamy (India)
1970 Martyn Ball (England)
1971 Jodi Dannatt (Australia)
1985 Leanne Davis (England)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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