An epic in Leeds
A record-breaking innings from John Edrich. Nobody has scored more runs in boundaries in a Test innings than Edrich did in this meaty 310 not out against New Zealand at Headingley. Edrich larruped 52 fours and five sixes; that's 238 runs - or 77% of his innings. He was on the pitch throughout the match, as England stormed home by an innings. In both their innings, New Zealand managed only 49 more runs between them than Edrich. It was a pretty modest Kiwi attack that Edrich punished, though: Dick Motz, Bruce Taylor, Richard Collinge and Bryan Yuile.
Ian Botham's highest Test score. It could have been a Western, so quickly were the bars at The Oval emptied as Beefy slung India from pillar to post with a lacerating 208. The Wisden Almanack said he "drove with rare ferocity, one straight six off [Dilip] Doshi leaving its mark for posterity in the shape of a hole in the pavilion roof". And he also fractured Sunny Gavaskar's left fibula, when a scorching hit smacked into Gavaskar at silly point. There was another less-than-frightening attack at work here - India included Suru Nayak (Test bowling average: 132). For years it was the fastest-recorded Test double-century, in terms of balls faced (220). Now it's all a bit passé, and lies eighth below Nathan Astle, Virender Sehwag, Brendon McCullum, Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Gilchrist. This was Botham's tenth century in his 51st Test. In his last 51 he got only four.
The cavalier strokeplay of Roy McLean, who was born today, made him the antithesis of most post-war South African batsmen. Once McLean got in - he made 11 ducks in 40 Tests - he was a fearsome proposition, especially square of the wicket on either side. At Lord's in 1955, he flashed 142, more than England had managed between them in the first innings... but South Africa still lost. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1961, and also played rugby for Natal.
Birth of Shaun Marsh, who scored a century on Test debut in Sri Lanka - only one of five Australians to achieve the landmark in an away game - in 2011, three years after breaking into the one-day side. Marsh first made headlines for top-scoring in the inaugural IPL that year and memorably made a hundred to overshadow Sachin Tendulkar's 175 in Hyderabad in 2009. However, after a terrible run in which he was out for four ducks in seven Test innings from November 2011 to January 2012, he was dropped. He returned in style in February 2014 with a hundred in a big win against South Africa in Centurion, but then injury set him back. When he was called up again, in December against India, he had a solid enough series - once being run out on 99 - to give him a longer run in the team.
BJ Watling, who was born today, spent his early years in Durban before moving to New Zealand as a ten-year-old. A right-handed opening batsman and part-time wicketkeeper, Watling earned a place in New Zealand's ODI squad for the series against Pakistan in 2008-09. Between 2009 and 2012, he played only eight Tests - the first six as a specialist batsman - before settling into the role of the full-time wicketkeeper in 2013. Against India in February 2014, Watling and Brendon McCullum put together a record sixth-wicket partnership of 352 in Wellington. Watling's 124 in that Test was his first century against a top-eight nation. He hit a purple patch in 2015, making an unbeaten 142 in New Zealand's big win against Sri Lanka in Wellington before topping his team's run charts in a riveting drawn series against England in England with 254 runs at 84.66, including a match-winning 120 in Leeds.
Birth of George Geary, the Leicestershire seamer who played 14 Tests for England between the First and Second World Wars. One of a family of 16, he took almost as many wickets (12) in only his fourth Test, against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1927-28. And two years later, at the MCG, he had remarkable first-innings figures of 81-36-105-5, the most overs bowled by an Englishman in a Test innings. In 1929 he took 10 for 18 against Glamorgan at Pontypridd, at the time the cheapest ten-for in first-class history. His boots are on display at Grace Road, and he died in Leicester in 1981.
The birth of one of the major figures of women's cricket for two decades from 1930. A fine opening bat and the most outstanding wicketkeeper of her generation, Betty Snowball also played squash and lacrosse at the international level. She played ten times for England, and toured Australia twice, recording a Test average of 40.86 and effecting 21 dismissals.
The Test career of the Indian left-arm spinner Venkatapathy Raju, who was born today, splits beautifully into two sections: home and away. In 16 Tests at home he took 71 wickets at an average of 24; in 12 Tests overseas he managed only 22 wickets at 52. For once, statistics don't lie. When the ball was spitting off the surface, Raju's bounce made him almost unplayable. Against Sri Lanka in Chandigarh in 1990-91, his match figures were a tortuous 53.5-38-37-8.
Birth of left-arm quick bowler Ian Bradshaw, who is best remembered for the batting partnership with Courtney Browne that helped West Indies win the Champions Trophy in 2004. Bradshaw was economical when he started out but in his five Tests, in 2006, he averaged 60 for nine wickets. In 62 ODIs, he picked up 78 wickets at nearly 30.
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