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May 31 down the years

The greatest one-day knock of all

Viv puts England to the sword

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Viv Richards lofts Derek Pringle on his way to 189 not out
Viv Richards lofts Derek Pringle on his way to 189 not out © Getty Images

The greatest innings in one-day international history according to everyone who witnessed it. Viv Richards smeared England all round Old Trafford in the first Texaco Trophy match: his 189 came off only 170 balls, with 21 fours and five sixes. What makes the innings so great is its context: West Indies were 102 for 7 at one point, then 166 for 9. They ended up making 272 for 9, and won by 104 runs. Of the last-wicket partnership of 106, Michael Holding made 12. Eldine Baptiste was the only other West Indian even to reach double figures.

Eyebrows were raised as Pakistan lost to Bangladesh in an amazing World Cup match at Northampton. In Wisden Cricket Monthly, Kamran Abbasi wrote that "Pakistan lost their heads in a flurry of poor strokes and worse running," but it wasn't long before the accusations started flying, most notably from Saleem Malik, who played in the match and said it was rigged. Suspicions remain.

At Northampton, New Zealand's Glenn Turner became the first man since the Second World War to score 1000 first-class runs by the end of May. But if anything, Turner peaked too early: in the Tests his scores were 11, 9, 4, 11 and 81.

The first first-class game at the third and final home of Thomas Lord's ground. After moving from Dorset Square and a site that's now under the Regent's Canal, Lord's came to rest at its present spot in St John's Wood. The notoriously poor wicket was already a feature - the game saw 40 wickets fall for 210 runs. Middlesex beat MCC by 16 runs.

Birth of one half of what was the biggest opening partnership in Tests for over 50 years. Against New Zealand on a Madras shirt-front in 1955-56, India's Pankaj Roy added 413 in 472 minutes with Vinoo Mankad (231), and made a Test-best 173. He was less accomplished when the ball jagged around, though: in nine Tests in England he averaged 13, thanks mainly to five ducks in six innings when Fred Trueman terrorised him in 1952. He captained India just once, at Lord's in 1959, when he made another duck. His son Pranab also played Test cricket for India. Pankaj died in his native Kolkata in 2001.

At a Test trial in his hometown of Bradford, Jim Laker returned the astonishing figures of 14-12-2-8 as England bowled The Rest out for 27. Of the two runs he conceded, one was a gentle one off the mark for his Surrey team-mate Eric Bedser. Laker, not entirely surprisingly, was selected, but was then dropped after taking only one wicket in England's first-Test victory against West Indies.

Birth of the first man to be given out "handled the ball" in a Test. South African Russell Endean made history when he palmed down a delivery from Jim Laker in Cape Town in 1956-57 that was spinning back towards his stumps. Ironically, Endean was involved in another unusual dismissal on his debut: at The Oval in 1951, when Len Hutton became the only man to be given out "obstructing the field" for preventing Endean from attempting a catch.

Birth of the most experienced Test umpire. Steve Bucknor broke Dickie Bird's record in 2002, and in March 2005 became the first umpire to officiate in 100 Test matches. Bucknor also stood in a record five successive World Cup finals (1992-2007). His rise to international status was rapid - his appointment for the 1992 final followed just four Tests and a handful of one-day internationals. Though he was scheduled to retire in 2011, Bucknor was forced out two years early after some high-profile errors. He misinterpreted the bad-light rules, leading to a farcical end to the 2007 World Cup final in Barbados, and was removed by the ICC from officiating in the third Test between Australia and India in Perth after several contentious decisions contributed to India's defeat in the second Test in Sydney in January 2008. Bucknor also refereed in a football World Cup qualifier.

A batting average of 29.27 from 52 Tests might suggest a modest career for the dashing Sri Lankan Roshan Mahanama, who was born today, but there is one match he'll never forget. In Colombo in 1997-98, he added 576 for the second wicket with Sanath Jayasuriya, the second highest partnership in Test history. They were the first pair to bat through two full days' play of a Test, with Mahanama making 225 and Jayasuriya 340 as Sri Lanka ran up 952 for 6, another Test record. Apart from that, Mahanama often struggled to rein in his attacking instincts; his best years were between 1992 and 1994, when he made three centuries in six Tests.

Birth of one of India's finest wicketkeepers. Khokhan Sen took over from Jenni Irani on the Australia tour of 1947-48 and impressed all by taking four catches and conceding just four byes in the hosts' 575 in Melbourne. He played in all five Tests against West Indies in 1948-49, and warded off competition from Nana Joshi and Madhav Mantri in the early 50s. Sen's finest moment came against England in 1951-52 in Madras, where he effected five stumpings - four in the first innings - off Vinoo Mankad's bowling as India took their first Test victory. Sen played four more Tests before being replaced by Mantri.

Australia's lowest innings total was made today in Edgbaston. But luck was on their side, because despite being bowled out for 36 and then trailing by 340 runs, they managed to get a draw - only because of a downpour on the final day of this three-day game. They were bowled out in an hour and a half, with Victor Trumper's 70-minute 18 being the top score. Wilfred Rhodes took his then-best figures of 7 for 17 and Australia ended day two with their second innings on 8 for 0. It rained for 12 hours overnight and there was play on the third day only because spectators had been let in in the afternoon.

A surprise win for New Zealand in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo - and a surprise match-winner too. On his debut, Paul Wiseman outbowled Muttiah Muralitharan in the battle of the offies, taking 7 for 143 in the match as against Murali's 9 for 227. Thanks to Wiseman's second-innings five-for - and big, chalk-and-cheese centuries from Stephen Fleming and Craig McMillan - New Zealand won three Tests in a row for the first time.

An obdurate left-hander and one of only three batsmen in Test history to make 99 on debut, Asim Kamal played 12 Tests for Pakistan in the mid-2000s. Kamal got his chance at the age of 27 and he held the middle order together in his early Tests. He consolidated his reputation during Pakistan's 2005 tour of India, scoring 91 in the first innings of the first Test in Mohali. His safe catching at gully came in handy. However, his consistency slipped in the following months and he was dropped at the end of 2005.

Other birthdays
1935 Bruce Bolton (New Zealand)
1968 Teuntje de Boer (Netherlands)
1980 Arundhati Kirkire (India)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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