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A daring umpire is born
Birth of the man at the centre of Test cricket's only forfeit. Australian umpire Darrell Hair has never been afraid of courting controversy. Along with Billy Doctrove, he found Pakistan guilty of ball-tampering in 2006. He also no-balled Muttiah Muralitharan during the second Test in Melbourne in 1995-96. Hair followed up by slating Murali's action in his autobiography, and he also called Grant Flower for throwing during the Test between Zimbabwe and New Zealand in Bulawayo in 2000-01. Hair was the neutral umpire during some of the defining moments of Test cricket in the 1990s: Brian Lara's 375, Mike Atherton's 185, Courtney Walsh's 500th Test wicket. But he will forever be remembered as the umpire whose actions led to the first forfeit in the history of the game. The ICC later changed the result to a draw, following pressure from the Pakistan Cricket Board, before changing it back to an England victory in February 2009.
Birth of the first man to be no-balled in a Test for throwing. Australian Ernie Jones was a fearsome fast bowler who took 64 wickets in his 19 Tests and took England apart at Lord's in 1899. Legend also has it that he bowled a short one that passed through WG Grace's beard in response to derisory comments from the doctor. Jones was first called for throwing against England in Melbourne in 1897-98. After that there were repeated murmurings about his action, but in the Wisden Almanack Sir Stanley Jackson, the former England captain, described such aspersions as "absolutely absurd". Jones died in Adelaide in November 1943.
Only 15 Tests for West Indies' Allan Rae, who was born today, but his fleeting stay at the top level had nothing to do with a lack of quality. Rae averaged 46 between 1948 and 1953, when the demands of his burgeoning legal career in Jamaica caused him to retire from the first-class game. In Chennai in 1948-49, he added 239 for the first wicket with Jeff Stollmeyer, a West Indian record that stood until 1982-83. But his best innings was probably the one at Lord's in 1950, where his 106 laid a foundation for Ramadhin and Valentine to bowl West Indies to a famous first win in England. Rae went on to become a respected administrator and president of the West Indies Cricket Board between 1981 and 1988.
An unwanted milestone for Mark Taylor in Karachi. When he was caught behind off Waqar Younis, Taylor became the first person to bag a pair in his first Test as captain. But in time Pakistan would become a happier hunting ground: four years later Taylor hit 334 in Peshawar to equal Don Bradman's Australian Test record score, before declaring on himself with Brian Lara's 375 in sight.
Birth of the dashing Australian Paul Sheahan, who never quite fulfilled his early promise at the top level. A sparkling 81 on debut against India in Adelaide in 1967-68 spoke volumes about his talent, but he never quite mastered the art of crease occupation and his 31 Tests brought only two hundreds. The first was a delightful, chanceless 114 in Kanpur in 1969-70. And after the second - against Pakistan on an MCG featherbed in 1972-73 - the Wisden Almanack said he was "apparently entrenched as the opener Australia had sought for several seasons". But he played just two more Tests, the last at 27 in New Zealand in 1973-74. He retired to teaching and became the headmaster of Melbourne High School.
Slow torture for New Zealand in Bombay. Chasing 188 to win the first Test against India, they were skittled for 127 with Bishan Bedi and Erapalli Prasanna sharing all ten wickets and 63.5 of the 69 overs bowled in the innings. Serious rioting in Ahmedabad had forced the match to be switched to Bombay, and it was another 14 years before Ahmedabad became the 56th Test venue.
The South African left-arm seamer James Middleton, who was born today, was best known for his nickname, "Bonnor". It reflected the similarity, in style if not quality, between his batting and that of the meaty Australian hitter George Bonnor. Middleton played only six Tests and South Africa lost the lot, despite his 24 wickets at 18.41. His debut in Port Elizabeth in 1895-96 - in which he returned match figures of 9 for 130 but saw his side thrashed by England by 288 runs - was symptomatic of a bittersweet career at the top level.
Persistent crowd trouble in Karachi forced the umpires to reduce the second one-day international between Pakistan and India to 47 overs per side. And it was India who triumphed by four wickets to square the series, despite a typically brutal performance from Shahid Afridi. He smeared 72 off 56 balls but the Man of the Match was Sourav Ganguly, whose cool 89 led India past their target of 266 with three balls to spare.
Birth of Martin Guptill, one from the assembly line of New Zealand openers of the 2000s. Guptill broke into the ODI and Test side after a high-scoring 2007-08 domestic season. His attacking strokeplay and gift of timing, however, were often undermined by his tendency to throw his wicket away. He got his first fifty in his sixth Test - against Pakistan in Dunedin in 2009 - and his maiden hundred against Bangladesh - in Hamilton the following year. Guptill started his one-day career with an unbeaten 122 against West Indies but got his next 90-plus score only in his 24th match.
A dashing strokeplayer and capable wicketkeeper, Chandrakant Pandit, born today, was one among several young Indian players in the mid '80s who were in the running to take over the gloves from Syed Kirmani. But he lost out, and kept only in three of five Tests - two of them when Kiran More was unavailable on the 1991-92 tour of Australia. Pandit's attractive batting style saw to it that for some time he was a regular member of the Indian one-day side. After retirement, he went on to become a successful coach, guiding Mumbai to two consecutive Ranji Trophy wins in 2003 and 2004.
The Champions Trophy was shared between India and Sri Lanka after the Colombo final was washed out on consecutive days. On both, Sri Lanka completed their innings before rain ended play. In the second match, played on the reserve day, the Indian spinners suffocated Sri Lanka's scoring, and only fifties by Mahela Jayawardene and Russel Arnold took the hosts to 222. Given the depth of Sri Lanka's slow-bowling attack, it would have probably been a tense chase if torrential showers hadn't ended the game 8.4 overs into India's innings.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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