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August 31 down the years

Supercat arrives

The man who led a juggernaut

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Clive Lloyd: a biffer
Clive Lloyd: a biffer © PA Photos

That mighty hitter and all-round cool dude Clive Lloyd was born. He bludgeoned 7515 Test runs with that oversized bat of his but will be remembered mainly as the man who restored West Indies to a position of dominance. Captain in 74 of his 110 Tests (the first West Indian to win 100 Test caps), he led them to a record 26 without defeat, which included a "blackwash" of England in 1984. In the one-day arena, he took West Indies to two World Cup titles (1975 and 1979) and to the final in 1983. His sparkling 102 in the 1975 final is one of the best innings in the tournament's history. He joined the Packer circus in between, before returning to captain West Indies. Before bad knees took their toll, he was also one of the great cover fielders.

A day Malcolm Nash would rather forget. Bowling for Glamorgan against Nottinghamshire in Swansea, he was smashed for six sixes in an over by Garry Sobers, the first time anyone had managed the maximum off a six-ball over. With Nottinghamshire heading towards a declaration, Sobers was looking for quick runs. Nash, who was experimenting with left-arm spin rather than bowling in his usual medium-pace style, had Sobers caught on the long-on boundary on the fifth ball but the fielder, Roger Davis, toppled over the rope still clutching the ball.

Few bowlers have had less luck in a Test series than India's strike bowler Javagal Srinath, who was born today. His 11 wickets against England in 1996 cost him 39.36 each - but, as Wisden remarked, these figures "did him no sort of justice". He suffered from dropped catches, and beat the bat so often it became monotonous. Srinath had happier moments after, taking 6 for 21 against South Africa in Ahmedabad in 1996-97, and 13 wickets, including 8 for 86, against Pakistan in Calcutta in 1998-99. He formed a successful partnership with his Karnataka team-mate Venkatesh Prasad in the mid-90s, but the lack of a reliable third seamer proved a burden. A rotator-cuff tear in his bowling shoulder jolted his career, forcing him to miss the 1997 tour of West Indies, but he bounced back. Srinath announced his retirement in November 2003, with 236 Test wickets to his name. He has since served as an ICC match referee.

The end of Murali's match. Aided by a parched surface that could have come straight from his hometown, Kandy, Muttiah Muralitharan took 16 for 220 as Sri Lanka thrashed England by ten wickets in this one-off Test at The Oval. Aided by big hundreds from Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva, Murali was utterly mesmeric... to everyone except David Lloyd, whose murmurs about Murali's action threatened to tarnish an unforgettable display.

Needing 91 to win with 70 minutes left at The Oval, England were frustrated by the weather. So South Africa escaped with a draw that gave them the three-match series 1-0. This was the last day of Test cricket they played in England until 1994.

The destination of the Ashes had been decided by Ian Botham by the time the sixth and final Test was played at The Oval - but the match meant a lot to one Australian. Dirk Wellham, a diabetic who played in glasses, made his Test debut and scored 103 in the second innings. He owed his debut ton to a rather better-known batsman: Geoff Boycott dropped him when he was on 99. His partnership of 86 with wicketkeeper Rod Marsh was, at the time, the highest for Australia's sixth wicket at The Oval. Wellham was the only man to captain three Australian states - New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland - but moves for him to replace Allan Border as Australian captain came to nothing.

A fractious end to the London derby between Middlesex and Surrey at Lord's after Errol Holmes, Surrey's captain, deliberately bowled wides and no-balls to try to speed up the taking of the new ball (which at the time was done on runs scored rather than overs bowled). The crowd made clear their displeasure, Middlesex's batsmen started wasting time, and fielders refused to stop the ball. The umpires then pulled up the stumps, claiming that they had upheld an appeal against the light. The ground was bathed in sunshine.

Death of a high-class wicketkeeper who went on to become one of the characters of the game. EJ "Tiger" Smith lived to be 93, which made him a favourite subject for interviews about the distant past. In his 11 Tests for England he made 20 dismissals. He made seven in one Derbyshire innings at Edgbaston in 1926. Back in 1911, he helped Warwickshire win the Championship for the first time.

England opener and future national team coach David Lloyd scored 116 in a Prudential Trophy match at Trent Bridge - but that glorious strokemaker Majid Khan replied with 109 in 93 balls to win the match for Pakistan by seven wickets.

Birth of Craig Cumming, one in an assembly line of New Zealand openers post 2000 - albeit possessed of an ability to handle quality fast bowling. After a hard-fought 74 on Test debut against Australia in 2004-05, he struggled to retain his place in the side.

Birth of Willie Watson, New Zealand's "dibbly dobbly" seamer who opened the bowling with Dipak Patel in the 1992 World Cup. He turned bowling wicket to wicket with slight movement into an art form, and was part of a famed quartet that included Rod Latham, Gavin Larsen and Chris Harris. Watson would go for more than six an over in only three of his 61 ODIs. In 15 Tests, he finished on the winning side only thrice; his 6 for 78 in Lahore in 1978-79 came in a nine-wicket defeat.

Other birthdays
1869 Gregor MacGregor (England)
1977 Chris Rogers (Australia)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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