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January 11 down the years

The Wall

Rahul Dravid is born, and Hanif Mohammad falls one short of 500

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Rahul Dravid: a star is born
Rahul Dravid: a star is born © AFP

When Sourav Ganguly made a hundred in his first Test innings, at Lord's in 1996, Rahul Dravid, who was born today, made 95 - nearly the first instance of two new caps scoring hundreds in the same innings. Both shared a record one-day stand of 318 against Sri Lanka at Taunton in the 1999 World Cup. In 2002, Dravid made four consecutive Test hundreds, including a masterful 148 in dreadful conditions at Headingley to set India up for a rare overseas victory. That was followed by his awesome display on the tour to Australia in 2003-04: in the second Test he batted a phenomenal 835 minutes, scoring 233 and an unbeaten 72, and steered India to a famous win. He went on to feature famously in overseas wins in Pakistan and the West Indies, and captained India to their first win in South Africa and first series win in England for 21 years. His Test career trundled along with few bumps on the way, but in March 2008 he became the third Indian to get to 10,000 runs in Tests and by 2011 was the second-highest run-maker after Sachin Tendulkar. That year was especially fruitful for Dravid. He ended 2011 as the top run scorer, with five hundreds, including three on a tough tour of England, and four half-centuries, but retired after a poor series in Australia later that year. Dravid was the first player to take 200 catches in Tests.

Mighty little Hanif Mohammad enjoyed occupying the crease, but this was ridiculous. Batting for Karachi against Bahawalpur in Karachi, he tried to steal a run to keep the strike. World record though it was at the time, there's something excruciating about a scorecard entry that reads: run out for 499. Hanif's partner that day, Abdul Aziz, was tragically young when he had another one later that season: absent dead. We kid you not.

Another huge score on the subcontinent, this time by a team, or at least most of one. Hyderabad declared at 944 for 6 against Andhra Pradesh in Secunderabad. Maturi Sridhar made 366, Vivek Jaisimha 211 and Noel David 207 - but Andhra held out for a draw with three wickets left and 502 runs to get.

Muttiah Muralitharan didn't take ten wickets in any of his first 34 Tests, but after doing so for the first time on this day, against Zimbabwe in Kandy, he went on to do it more than 20 times in the rest of his career. Murali's second-innings 7 for 94 won this match for Sri Lanka by eight wickets.

Needing only 158 to win the Sydney Test, Pakistan reached 83 for 3 only to collapse to 106 all out and lose the three-match series 0-3. Max Walker, in his perennial role as faithful third change, emerged from the shadows to take 5 for 3 in his last 30 balls to finish with 6 for 15 from 16 overs.

An Australian side deprived of its Packer players had little chance against a seasoned England team, but they'd pulled back to 2-1 before this fourth Test in Sydney - only for the Nelson to rear its accursed head. The England spinners bowled them for 111 to win the match by 93 runs and retain the Ashes.

The day Phil DeFreitas opened for England. Pinch-hitting was all the rage in advance of the World Cup, and though England promoted a glorified tailender, DeFreitas' 17, and a rumbustious 42-ball 55 from Graeme Hick, gave England the momentum to successfully chase South Africa's 263 in Bloemfontein.

South African opener Jack Siedle, born today, made his debut for South Africa in 1928. He scored a century in his sixth Test, in Cape Town against England, who were his opponents in the first 13 of his 18 Tests. He was part of the 1935 side that won South Africa's first Test in England - after trying for 28 years - at Lord's but his only notable performance on the tour came in the first Test in Nottingham. The following series, against Australia at home, was his last and he scored two half-centuries - in Durban and Cape Town.

Birth of New Zealand fast bowler Johnny Hayes. A tall right-arm bowler, on his day he was genuinely quick and could move the ball away from right-handers. He toured England under Walter Hadlee in 1949, but a groin injury kept him out for half the series. The first of his 15 Tests came against England in 1950-51 and the following season he produced possibly his best burst when he removed Gomez, Walcott and Worrell in eight balls. In 1955-56 he toured India and Pakistan with success, taking 35 wickets at 32.11 in first-class games, where he used the new ball with skill. He was less successful in the Tests, his 13 wickets in six outings costing 46.61. He quit cricket in 1961 and served as Morocco's honorary consul general in New Zealand until his retirement in 2004.

In his second Test, Sri Lankan medium-pacer Sajeewa de Silva, born today, took 5 for 85 against India in Colombo, a performance he couldn't replicate in the rest of his brief career. His one-day career was longer, but he never took more than three wickets in a match. In 2007, he was a contender for Chaminda Vaas' place in the Test side but lost out to Farveez Maharoof.

Other birthdays
1862 Frank Sugg (England)
1972 Julia Price (Australia)

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