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April 27 down the years

Blink and you'll miss it

Shoaib hits a hundred

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Shoaib Akhtar: speed king
Shoaib Akhtar: speed king © AFP

Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar became the first man to break the 100mph barrier when he was clocked bowling to Craig McMillan at 100.04 mph (161kph) during a one-day international against New Zealand in Lahore. The record remained unofficial - the ICC refused to sanction it as it did not have a standard measuring tool. The previous fastest recorded speed was 99.8mph by Australia's Jeff Thomson in 1975, although that did not take place during a match.

With Wasim and Waqar in their prime, Pakistan had gone to the Caribbean in 1992-93 optimistic that they could add the unofficial Test championship to their official one-day crown. Instead they were blown away 0-2, a defeat that was sealed by ten wickets in Barbados on this day. Pakistan won the toss and fielded, but with Phil Simmons blasting 87 off 90 balls and Desmond Haynes sedately compiling his second consecutive century, the visitors were never really in the game. For them, the only bright spot was an outstanding unbeaten 92 from Basit Ali, who was playing in only his second Test. This was West Indies' 12th win in a row at their Bridgetown fortress, a run that England would end dramatically a year later.

Birth of the man who dismissed the great Andy Sandham with his first ball in first-class cricket. Red-headed seamer Bill Copson, a coal miner before he turned his hand to cricket, took 160 wickets in 1936 and was a key part of Derbyshire's first and only County Championship title that year. His three Test appearances came either side of the Second World War, and he took nine wickets on his debut, against West Indies at Lord's in 1939. Copson later became an umpire; he died in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, in 1971.

Times were hard for Australian legspinners in the 1990s, such was Shane Warne's pre-eminence. Victoria's Peter McIntyre, who was born today, might have played a lot more than two Tests had he emerged in a different time or a different place. He made his debut in England's surprise Adelaide victory in 1994-95, and with Warne injured he was brought back for the one-off Test in India two years later. McIntyre did dismiss Sachin Tendulkar for 10, but with another legspinner - Stuart MacGill - starting to make his mark, it was the last chance he got.

An England captain is born. Frederick Fane took over in Australia in 1907-08, when Arthur Jones was injured, and also led England in his last two Test appearances, in South Africa two years later. Fane was a good-looking front-foot player whose one Test century came in Johannesburg in 1905-06, a match that England nonetheless lost comfortably. He was also Jack Hobbs' opening partner in Hobbs' first Test, in Melbourne in 1907-08. In that match Fane top-scored in the second innings as England squeaked home by one wicket. He also represented Essex with distinction for 20 years, and scored close to 20,000 first-class runs.

There are many ways to go to a maiden Test hundred. But in the second Test between West Indies and New Zealand in Antigua, Robert Samuels did it in a manner that all schoolboys dream of, with a towering six down the ground off Dipak Patel. It was as good as it got for Samuels - this was the only century of his six-Test career.

Other birthdays
1936 Khalid Wazir (Pakistan)
1956 June Edney (England)
1946 John Maclean (Australia)
1973 Jeremy Snape (England)
1984 Imraan Khan (South Africa)
1989 Hamish Rutherford (New Zealand)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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