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January 24 down the years

Patience is a virtue

Neil Harvey grinds South Africa down in Durban

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Neil Harvey made 151 on a pitch that was turning square
Neil Harvey made 151 on a pitch that was turning square © Getty Images

What comes next after these numbers: 311, 75, 99? The answer is 336 for 5; this being the sequence of scores in a remarkable Test in Durban that ended today. Australia won it, after South Africa declined to enforce the follow-on and were promptly whipped out for that 99. In a match where only three players made over 50, Neil Harvey won it with a remarkably patient 151 not out on a pitch that was turning square.

Like father like son. Mudassar Nazar followed in the footsteps of his father Nazar Mohammad by carrying his bat in the fifth Test between Pakistan and India in Lahore (Saeed Anwar and Imran Farhat are the only other Pakistanis to have achieved the feat). Mudassar's 152, and 8 for 85 from Kapil Dev (including Majid Khan for a duck in his final Test innings) were the highlights of this rain-affected draw.

Birth of the allrounder Neil Johnson, who was an integral part of Zimbabwe's side until he quit at the end of the tour to England in 2000. He lashed a match-winning 107 against Pakistan in Peshawar in his second Test, and also illuminated the 1999 World Cup with a fabulous hundred against Australia at Lord's. His right-arm seam-up didn't always cut the mustard at Test level, but he crucially dismissed Sachin Tendulkar on his debut, a tight win over India in Harare in 1998-99.

Two days before his 27th birthday, Kim Hughes scored a career-best 213 - his only double - in Adelaide. Graeme Wood scored 125 and Australia gained a first-innings lead of 109 (the margin would have been bigger, if not for Sandeep Patil's superb, counter-attacking 174). Hughes scored 53 in the second innings and Australia declared on the final day looking to take the series in the second Test. They looked like they would get there when India fell to 103 for 6. But Yashpal Sharma (13 in nearly three hours) and Syed Kirmani hung grimly on to help India scrape to a draw in the last hour of the match.

A maiden Big Bash League title win for Sydney Thunder. It was a remarkable rise for a team that had never finished outside the bottom two for the first four seasons. At the MCG, Kevin Pietersen's 74 took hosts Melbourne Stars to 176, and it was a tight finish as Thunder chased it in the final over. Usman Khawaja led the chase with 70, but Stars clawed back after his dismissal in the 14th over. Thunder clinched it with three wickets in hand. It was double delight for the western Sydney franchise as their women's team too took the title in the inaugural Women's BBL final earlier in the day.

New Zealand's first Test hundred was scored by Stewie Dempster in their second Test, which they did well to draw against England in Wellington. Dempster scored 136 and added 276 with Jackie Mills (who too made a hundred: 117 on debut) for the first wicket - a New Zealand partnership record that remained unbroken for 42 years. New Zealand went on to make 440, bowl England out for 320, declare their second innings at 164 for 4 (Dempster unbeaten on 80), and take another four England wickets.

An extraordinary one-dayer in East London, where West Indies beat South Africa by 43 runs. West Indies hammered 292 for 9 in their 50 overs, with 258 of those runs flayed by Shivnarine Chanderpaul (150) and Carl Hooper (108). Nobody else reached double figures, except Mr Extras. It was the only match West Indies won on this tour - they lost the other 11, including a 5-0 whitewash in the Tests.

Australia won a thriller in Brisbane. India needed 395 to win the third Test and came mighty close - a century from ML Jaisimha to add to his first-innings 74 took them to 310 for 5 before Bob Cowper and John Gleeson brushed away the tail.

The death at the age of 65 of William Web Ellis. His cricketing glory was limited to one first-class appearance - the Varsity match of 1827 - but by then he had guaranteed himself a place in sporting history as the father of rugby when, during a game at Rugby school in 1823, he picked up the ball and ran.

Twin tons from Hanif Mohammad, who batted for 894 minutes in the match, helped Pakistan save the second Test against England in Dacca. This was the start of a barren run for England: they didn't win a Test in Pakistan for 39 years and 19 matches, until Graham Thorpe's Chinese cut in Karachi in 2000-01.

Other birthdays
1891 Alex Kennedy (England)
1907 Denis Smith (England)
1912 Kenneth Weekes (West Indies)
1915 John Trim (West Indies)
1916 Victor Stollmeyer (West Indies)
1961 Sultan Zarawani (UAE)
1968 Mark Burmester (Zimbabwe)
1981 Humayun Farhat (Pakistan)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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