On This Day On This DayRSS FeedFeeds

April 29 down the years

Cat of many tales

The most talented English slow bowler of his generation is born

Text size: A | A

January |  February |  March |  April |  May |  June |  July |  August |  September |  October |  November |  December

April 30 | April 28

 
 
Phil Tufnell: a rare England spinner with guile and cunning
Phil Tufnell: a rare England spinner with guile and cunning © Getty Images
Enlarge

1966
The Cat is born. Throughout his career Phil Tufnell was as likely to pop up on the front page of newspapers as the back, but his old-fashioned flight and cunning made him the most talented English spinner of his generation. He won three Tests in a row after being recalled in 1991, but after that his career was distinctly stop-start, with only one other five-for, when he returned from the wilderness to vanquish Australia at The Oval in 1997. Like all fingerspinners in the 1990s, he struggled to do much more than contain good batsmen. The announcement of his retirement was typical - he quit on the eve of the new season so that he could take part in a TV reality show, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

1997
Aravinda de Silva became the first man to score two unbeaten hundreds in a Test, against Pakistan at the SSC in Colombo. His 138 and 103 were the second and third of six consecutive hundreds in Test innings in his own country - all of them on various grounds in Colombo. This match was drawn, along with the series, as Pakistan comfortably batted out the final day against a toothless, Murali-less Sri Lankan attack.

1974
Birth of Ireland's best exponent of the chicken dance, Trent Johnston. While he wasn't celebrating memorably, Johnston was a fast bowler, who made his way to Ireland from New South Wales. He was Ireland's captain during their great run in the 2007 World Cup where they beat Pakistan, hitting the winning runs in the match and standing at the other end when Ireland sealed an even bigger victory, over England in the 2011 World Cup. Among the most memorable of Johnston's bowling exploits was the one in an innings win against UAE - he took 3 for 8 (in an innings haul of 5 for 33) - that helped Ireland qualify for Intercontinental Cup final in 2005.

2007
Surrey smashed the existing limited-overs record score as they made 496 for 4 in 50 overs against Gloucestershire at The Oval. Ali Brown led the way with 176 off 97 balls.

1979
Birth of Ashish Nehra, the Indian left-arm seamer who blew England into disarray with an explosive burst of 6 for 23 in the 2003 World Cup. But Nehra, whose late inswing is his main threat, faltered after a promising start in Test cricket. Surgery on a troublesome ankle, and an indifferent 2003-04 tour of Australia, followed, and though he performed creditably in Pakistan in 2004, he ceased to be an automatic pick. He hit the headlines with decent showings in the IPL, particularly in the second season, and was recalled to the one-day squad. Nehra then chose to concentrate on the shorter format and made it to the 2011 World Cup where he took three wickets in three games, though he missed the final due to injury.

1940
New South Wales' finest wicketkeeper is born. Brian Taber eased into their official team of the millennium, and he also played 16 Tests for Australia in the late 1960s. Taber, who hails from Wagga Wagga, was a natural, unfussy keeper but limited as a batsman: his first-class average was only 18. His last Tests were in the 0-4 thrashing by South Africa in 1969-70, after which he was replaced by Rodney Marsh.

1991
A sensational innings from Mark Taylor, which helped Australia become the first touring team to win a Test in Antigua. His 144 against West Indies may have come in a dead rubber, but it was still a sensational effort: in Australia's second-innings 265, only three other players reached double figures, and nobody got more than David Boon's 35. Taylor's was a rapid, 227-ball affair, and enabled the Aussies to take a consolation victory in a series they lost 1-2.

Other birthdays
1892 Sydney Rippon (England)
1892 Dudley Rippon (England)
1918 Mervyn Harvey (Australia)
1988 Andre Russell (West Indies)
1990 James Faulkner (Australia)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    Last ball, last wicket, and Northants' parched spell

Ask Steven: Also, Vijay Manjrekar's nickname, Abid Ali's no-ball, oldest double-centurions, and this decade's leading players

    'I ensured there was no regionalism in selection'

Couch Talk: Former India batsman Chandu Borde reflects on his career as a player, mentor, manager and selector

Lehmann enters uncharted territory

Daniel Brettig: The Pakistan Tests provide the first significant juncture of his new phase as Australia's established coach

    The man who pulled New Zealand from the precipice

Brendon McCullum's runs and leadership have rescued New Zealand cricket from its lowest ebb. By Andrew Alderson

Cricket: complex, unknowable cricket

Jon Hotten: We, as players and spectators, are finite, but cricket, utterly brilliant in its design, is not

News | Features Last 7 days

How India weeds out its suspect actions

The BCCI set up a three-man committee to tackle the problem of chucking at age-group and domestic cricket, and it has produced significant results in five years

The insecure kid who never grew up

Kevin Pietersen missed the point of life in the second half of his career, failed to show maturity, and has regressed to being the bitter youngster who left Natal years ago

India's other keeper stumped again

Throughout his career, Wriddhiman Saha has suffered from being in the same generation as MS Dhoni. However, those close to the player believe that Saha has never been one to take rejection personally

A rock, a hard place and the WICB

The board's latest standoff with its players has had embarrassing consequences internationally, so any resolution now needs to be approached thoughtfully

Kohli back to old habits

Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala

News | Features Last 7 days