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August 26 down the years

The original masterblaster

A hundred in 35 minutes

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Percy Fender: authored an onslaught at The Oval
Percy Fender: authored an onslaught at The Oval © Wisden Cricket Monthly
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1920
Four days after his 28th birthday, the inimitable PGH Fender scored the fastest authentic first-class century in terms of time spent at the crease: 35 minutes for Surrey v Northants in Northampton in 1920. Steve O'Shaughnessy, a Lancashire tailender, equalled his record in 1983. Slim and moustachioed, Percy George captained Surrey imaginatively throughout most of the 1920s, and in many people's opinion should have done the job for England instead of playing in only 13 Tests.

1930
Birth of West Indies batsman Joe Solomon, whose superb run-out ended the famous tied Test in Brisbane in 1960-61. In the next Test, in Melbourne, he was out hit-wicket when his cap fell on his stumps. Although he scored only one Test century (100 not out in Delhi in 1958-59), his lower-order runs were often crucial.

1987
Death of the man who captained West Indies to their first series win in England. John Goddard led the famous side of 1950 (Rae and Stollmeyer, Ramadhin and Valentine, the three Ws), which won 3-1 after losing the first Test at Old Trafford. Goddard had less success when he was recalled as captain in England in 1957: West Indies lost 0-3, and he didn't play Test cricket again.

1963
Another 3-1 win for West Indies in England - under an even more famous leader. Frank Worrell, the first black player to captain West Indies on a regular basis, led them to an eight-wicket victory at The Oval, which gave them the series 3-1. It was Worrell's final Test: within four years he had died, universally mourned, from leukaemia. West Indies and Australia now play for the Sir Frank Worrell Trophy.

1981
Birth of an aggressive West Indian fast bowler. Tino Best lacked the control needed to be successful at the Test level. A nondescript Test career seemed to have ended in 2005, but he was given an unexpected lease of life in 2009 when a strike by the leading players forced West Indies to field a weakened squad. In between those two spells, frustrated at not getting a place in the national side, Best signed on with the ICL. He made his Test return against England at Edgbaston in 2012 and surprised everyone by joining Wes Hall as the only other West Indies No. 11 batsman to make a half-century in Test cricket. However, he fell five runs short of becoming the first No. 11 to make a Test hundred.

1954
Surrey clinched the third of their seven successive Championships by beating Worcestershire at The Oval by an innings after declaring their first innings at 92 for 3. Stuart Surridge wanted to put Worcestershire's batsmen under the cosh on a drying pitch - they had earlier been bowled out for 25 - and it worked: they made only 40 second time round.

1963
Birth of the Yorkshire left-hander David Byas, who in 2001 captained them to their first Championship since 1968 - one of the longest gaps between titles. In 1995, Byas was the first batsman to reach 1000 runs, scored 1913 in all, and was made 12th man against West Indies at The Oval.

2012
India won their third Under-19 World Cup after captain Unmukt Chand scored an unbeaten century in the final against Australia in Townsville. His counterpart William Bosisto's half-century had rescued Australia from 38 for 4 to a respectable score of 225, but Chand's 130-run stand with Smit Patel ensured India won with more than two overs to spare.

1921
A strange "dismissal". Leicestershire wicketkeeper Tom Sidwell, one not out overnight, got lost on the tube en route to The Oval and arrived late. Percy Fender, Surrey's captain, refused to allow Sidwell to resume his innings. Leicestershire lost by 88 runs, but five years to the day later, Sidwell got his revenge when he hammered 105 off Surrey at the same ground.

1975
Better known as a bowler, Robin Hobbs came close to matching Fender's record when he scored a century in 44 minutes for Essex against the Australians in Chelmsford. Hobbs was the last specialist legspinner to play for England (1967-71) before Ian Salisbury in 1992.

1965
A curtain call for Brian Statham. After a two-year absence from Test cricket, and at the age of 35, Statham returned to the England side for the third Test against South Africa at The Oval. It was as if he had never been away. Bowling with all the parsimony of old, he took 5 for 40 in the first innings to restrict South Africa to 208 all out. It was not enough to force a victory, however. Needing 399 in the final innings for a share of the series, England closed on 308 for 4, Colin Cowdrey not out on 78.

1924
Playing against Middlesex in Bristol, Gloucestershire's spiky slow left-armer Charlie Parker took his second hat-trick of the match. The fourth of only seven players to have achieved this feat, he also took 10 for 79 against Somerset on the same ground in 1921. He would have played more than one Test for England (against Australia at Old Trafford in 1921) if he hadn't allegedly spoken his mind to one of the selectors. His 3278 first-class wickets put him third on the all-time list.

1909
Gloucestershire v Middlesex in Bristol again - and Frank Tarrant finished with 13 wickets for 67 as the visitors won the match on the first day. Gloucestershire were all out for 33 and 81, and lost by an innings to a side that scored only 145.

1890
New South Wales batsman Tommy Andrews played 16 Tests for Australia between 1921 and 1926. He got to the 90s twice - his best coming in the 1921 drawn Oval Test. Andrews only bowled four times in Tests but he was a handy googly bowler who once said, "If they stop throwing, cricket in Australia will die."

1971
Lisa Keightley, born today, finished her career as Australia's third highest run scorer in the one-day game and seventh in the all-time list. At the time of her retirement she had played more games than anyone else in the WNCL for New South Wales (91) and then immediately became the first full-time coach employed by the state. She led New South Wales to consecutive titles in her only two years in charge and, in 2007, became the first woman appointed as coach of the national team, succeeding Mark Sorell.

1977
Birth of a son who matched his father by doing things his own way. Liam Botham, son of Ian, played cricket for Hampshire - on his first-class debut he took 5 for 67 against Middlesex - forced his way into the England rugby union squad in 2001, and made his rugby league debut in 2003.

Other birthdays
1854 Arnold Fothergill (England)
1908 Bill Hunt (Australia)
1909 Eric Davies (South Africa)
1970 Brett Schultz (South Africa)
1975 Jon Lewis (England)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Ten years later

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