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March 27 down the years

Burn the umpire

A dangling effigy is born

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Courtney Walsh bowled a no-ball which Dean Jones thought he was dismissed of
Courtney Walsh bowled a no-ball which Dean Jones thought he was dismissed of © Getty Images

With Australia hanging on grimly against West Indies in Guyana - they ultimately went down by ten wickets - Dean Jones lost his stumps to a Courtney Walsh no-ball, but did not hear the call and trudged off in the knowledge that he'd failed again when it mattered. As he did so he was run out by Carl Hooper, and umpire Clyde Cumberbatch upheld the decision even though it totally contravened Law 38.2, which states that a batsman can only be run out if he is attempting to run. The error soon became common knowledge, and an effigy of Cumberbatch was subjected to what Wisden Cricket Monthly described as "a macabre dance from a noose" in the stands.

Mohammad Azharuddin's decision to make Sachin Tendulkar open in ODIs - because Navjot Sidhu, the regular opener, had a stiff neck - proved a turning point in Tendulkar's career, and India's ODI history. In his first match opening, in Auckland, Tendulkar blazed 82 off 49 balls. In 344 matches as an opener, he made 15,310 runs at 48.29 (and 45 of his 49 ODI hundreds) as compared to 3116 at 33 from 119 matches in which he batted lower down.

One of those scintillating days when Devon Malcolm's radar was spot-on. In Trinidad he cleaned up three West Indians in four balls. It was no tail-end demolition job either: Desmond Haynes, Carlisle Best and Jeff Dujon were his victims. Malcolm took ten wickets in this match, to make it 15 in two games, and when West Indies closed this fourth day on 284 for 9 - a lead of only 145 - England were near-bankers for an unbelievable 2-0 lead. Rain, and stand-in captain Haynes, would deny them.

Australia's answer to WG is born. Allrounder George Giffen would fit snugly into the current thrill-a-minute world of Test cricket. He was a dashing batsman and an accurate slow-medium offspinner. His sole Test century was a whopping 161 in Sydney in 1894-95, when Australia lost despite making a first-innings total of 586 and making England follow on. In first-class cricket, Giffen scored a century and took ten wickets in the same match no fewer than nine times. In 1891-92, playing for South Australia against Victoria in Adelaide, he scored 271 and took 16 wickets. Apart from that he had a shocker. He died in Adelaide in 1927, where a stand at the Oval bears his name.

A boring draw with honour for Sri Lanka, whose stalemate with Pakistan in Colombo gave them a 1-1 draw in the three-match series. Asanka Gurusinha and Arjuna Ranatunga both made centuries in an unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership of 240 - in the process becoming the first Sri Lankan pair to bat through a whole day - although Ranatunga was dropped no fewer than five times before he had reached 30. You'd have got long odds on that.

Four years earlier it had been a different story. In Lahore, Imran Khan demolished Sri Lanka in Pakistan's innings victory, taking 8 for 58 and 6 for 58. His match figures are the best by a Pakistani, and the best by a seam bowler on the subcontinent. Imran also became the first Pakistani to take 150 Test wickets.

A successful amateur is born. Vallance Jupp turned amateur after the First World War, when he won eight Test caps. He could bowl fast-medium or offspin, and he ended with 28 wickets at an average of 22 in Tests. Jupp did the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in a season ten times, twice for Sussex and eight times for Northants. He could certainly bat - he had 30 first-class hundreds, and a highest score of 217 not out - but he never much success in Tests. He died in Northamptonshire in 1960.

Roger Telemachus, born today, was unlucky to play at a time South Africa had plenty of fast-bowling talent. In 1998 he made it to England, only to have to return home with an injury early in the tour. He was given a good run in the side in 2000 and 2001, but failed to cement his place. He had a long domestic career but was forced to retire in 2009, after the Cape Cobras sent him for an angiogram that determined he could not play competitive sport any more.

Legspinner Imran Tahir, born today in Pakistan, went on to play for South Africa after qualifying in January 2011. His Test debut caused great excitement in South Africa, for long missing a quality spinner, but Tahir couldn't quite live up to expectations, taking 26 wickets in 11 matches at 50 in his first year in Test cricket. But his next Test, in Dubai a year later, dragged his average into the 40s. Tahir took 5 for 32 to bowl out Pakistan for 99, and came back to take three more in the second innings of the massive victory.

A close shave for Jesse Ryder, who was in an induced coma in a hospital after being assaulted twice outside a bar in Christchurch. The city's police arrested two men in connection with the assaults. Ryder was discharged a week later. This was not the first time Ryder suffered an injury in a Christchurch bar - in 2008 he cut his hand after putting it through a glass window.

Other birthdays
1888 George Hearne (South Africa)
1910 Frank Smailes (England)
1957 Beverly Browne (West Indies)
1986 Xavier Marshall (West Indies)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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