And they went on and on
The biggest Test partnership of all time. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara beat their compatriots' record (Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama's 576 against India in 1997) when they pounded South Africa into submission with a 624-run stand in Colombo. The two batted nearly three days - Jayawardene made 374 (the second Sri Lankan to get a triple-century) and Sangakkara 287. Muttiah Muralitharan did the rest, taking ten wickets in the match as Sri Lanka won by an innings and 153 runs.
Hamilton Masakadza became the first black African to score a Test century - and, for all of 41 days, the youngest debutant centurion in Test history. Aged just 17 years and 352 days at the start of the match, the second Test against West Indies, Masakadza batted 388 minutes and 316 balls for his 119, with Zimbabwe facing a first-innings deficit of 216. Zimbabwe declared on 563 for 6, and had rain not washed out the final day, they might even have squared the series. Masakadza was the seventh black African to play for Zimbabwe. And, until Mohammad Ashraful made his bow for Bangladesh later in the year, only Mushtaq Mohammad and Sachin Tendulkar had reached three figures in a Test at a younger age.
One of the great England collapses. They had to bat out a day and a bit to draw the first Test against Pakistan, at Lord's. At lunch on the final day they were one down and Ladbrokes had closed the book, with Mike Atherton and Alec Stewart looking untroubled. But then Atherton fell, and down England went like a bunch of drunks on a bouncy castle. They lost 7 for 18 in a fearful collapse, with Mushtaq Ahmed at his most mischievous and Waqar Younis feasting on the scraps. Graeme Hick was Waqar-ed twice in the match for 4 - and he was also given not-out wrongly off a bat-pad catch off Mushtaq in the second innings.
Having lost to Bangladesh and nearly lost to Zimbabwe in the last five months at home, Sri Lanka were never expected to stand up to India. And they didn't, instead lying down and taking a 304-run beating in Galle. Shikhar Dhawan (190) and Cheteshwar Pujara (153) helped India get to 600 in the first innings. It was Dhawan's career-best total and first Test hundred in two years. Virat Kohli chose to prolong Sri Lanka's misery by not enforcing the follow-on and made a hundred in the process. India needed only eight second-innings wickets to wrap up the game since Asela Gunaratne and captain Rangana Herath did not bat because of finger injuries.
As he lambasts batsmen from the Sky Sports commentary box, it's sometimes easy to forget that Bob Willis had a Test batting average of 11, but he did once save a Test with the willow. When Willis marched to the crease against West Indies at The Oval on this day, England were 92 for 9 in their second innings, just after lunch on the final day. Somehow he survived for almost three hours. He made 24 not out, Peter Willey his first Test hundred, and England saved a match that looked lost.
John Rennie, a fast-medium swing bowler born today, played four Tests and 44 ODIs for Zimbabwe between 1993 and 2000. He averaged 46 for each of his 34 one-day wickets but was a useful batsman and fielder for the side. Business and family pressures, as well as disillusionment with the situation in Zimbabwe cricket, eventually caused him to fade out of the game in about 2002.
Born with two fingers missing on his right hand, Azeem Hafeez went on to bowl left-arm pace for Pakistan. He took 63 wickets in 18 Tests, the last in 1984-85, when he was still only 21.
On this day England retained the Ashes, an achievement they would take 39 years to repeat. They did so with a nine-wicket win at Headingley, as Derek Underwood exploited a grassless, flooded, and much-criticised pitch to take 10 for 82 in the match. England's top scorers were the unlikely pair of Ray Illingworth (57) and John Snow (48), who effectively decided things with an eighth-wicket partnership of 104.
New Zealand opening batsman Terry Jarvis was born. His highest Test score of 182 was made in a mammoth opening partnership of 387 with Glenn Turner in Georgetown in 1971-72. New Zealand drew the series despite losing the toss every time.
Fast bowler Chamila Gamage became the first Sri Lankan (and 13th overall) to take a wicket from his first ball in Test cricket when he bowled Mohammad Ashraful in Colombo. Gamage, an air force recruit, took three in the match and played only one more Test, in Centurion later that year.