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June 29 down the years

Those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine take West Indies to a memorable win

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West Indies supporters celebrate the famous victory at Lord's in 1950
West Indies supporters celebrate the famous victory at Lord's in 1950 © PA Photos

A landmark day for West Indian cricket. West Indies won their first Test in England, a 326-run thrashing at Lord's, led by a mystifying display from their young spin twins Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine. They were both playing their second Tests, having each only played two first-class matches before the tour. Valentine's match figures were 116-75-127-7 (the 75 maidens are still a Test record), and Ramadhin's 115-70-152-11; it was the slowest torture imaginable. They were abetted by 168 from Clyde Walcott, an innings that John Arlott described as being "of thunder, of almost biblical intensity". England never recovered, and lost 1-3 a series they had expected to win comfortably. A crowd full of West Indian fans didn't care, celebrating joyously, and a famous Calypso song - "With those little pals of mine, Ramadhin and Valentine" - was born.

The day Sachin Tendulkar made history by playing an Andre Nel delivery towards mid-off and scampering down the pitch to reach 15,000 one-day runs. He missed out on a 42nd hundred against South Africa in this game in Belfast, but that nudge past the bowler put him on a pedestal few can ever hope to reach. He finished with a staggering 18,426 ODI runs.

Birth of the gangling Victorian seamer Alan Connolly, a bit of an unsung hero for Australia in the sixties. He finished with 102 wickets, and four five-fors - none of which came in Aussie victories. His best figures were 6 for 47 against South Africa in Port Elizabeth... when Australia were routed by 323 runs. Unusually, Connolly excelled overseas, with 66 in 16 Tests. At home he took only 36 in 13. He also played county cricket for Middlesex.

When he became Yorkshire's youngest-ever player - at just 16 years 75 days - Paul Jarvis was burdened with a "new Fred Trueman" tag, but he never got close, taking only 21 wickets in nine Tests. Injuries didn't help, nor did the selectors' penchant for shunting him in and out of the team (those nine Tests came in five instalments, either side of Jarvis' ban for going on the rebel tour of South Africa, in 1989-90). Jarvis later played for Sussex and Somerset, but got nowhere near leaving the legacy people expected.

A gargantuan opening partnership in Kandy. In a dead rubber against Pakistan, Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu put on 335, with Atapattu making his third Test double-hundred. In a match of only 155.4 overs, Atapattu was still there at the bitter end, 207 not out and having dead-batted all comers into submission.

Another weighty partnership, this one for the eighth wicket. Les Ames and Gubby Allen got England out of a hole by adding 246 against New Zealand at Lord's, with Allen making his only Test hundred and Ames his first in England. At the time it was the highest for the eighth wicket in Test history, but it's been passed four times, by Wasim Akram and Saqlain Mushtaq in Sheikhupura in 1996-97, by Nathan Astle and Adam Parore in Perth in 2001-02, by Stephen Fleming and James Franklin in Cape Town in 2006 and the current record holders Stuart Broad and Jonathan Trott against Pakistan at Lord's in 2010.

Birth of the link in the only three-generation Test-playing family. West Indian opener Ron Headley was the son of the great George and father of England seamer Dean. He played just two Tests, both in England in 1973. Headley played much of his cricket in England, for Worcestershire and Derbyshire.

Long before speed guns inflated Shoaib Akhtar's ego further, Worcestershire's Robert Burrows bowled Lancashire's William Huddleston in a County Championship match at Old Trafford - and sent the bail flying 67 yards. It's a record that even Shoaib didn't break.

A hundred on debut for Scott Styris, who made 107 against West Indies in Grenada on this day. He went on to add 69 in the second innings for good measure, and take two wickets. There was a near miss for Mark Richardson, who made 95, and then crawled in the second innings to 71, taking five hours to do it. The match was drawn.

Other birthdays

1896 Harold Gilligan (England)
1947 Jeff Moss (Australia)
1969 Simon Brown (England)
1974 Mick Lewis (Australia)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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