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August 3 down the years

The ton-up boys

Test hundreds galore

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Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart receive caps ahead of their 100th appearance
Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart receive caps ahead of their 100th appearance © Getty Images

The first day of Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart's 100th Test, played at Old Trafford, Atherton's home ground. In a day shortened by rain, Stewart took a catch behind the wicket. The following day he became the fourth batsman to score a hundred in his 100th Test (after Colin Cowdrey, Javed Miandad and Gordon Greenidge) and the only one to do it on the Queen Mother's 100th birthday.

The Old Trafford Test against Australia was drawn and a little dull - but Mike Gatting will remember it fondly. In his 40th Test innings in England, he scored his first hundred at home - and turned it into a big one, reaching 160 against an opening attack of Geoff Lawson and Craig McDermott.

Birth of a World Cup winner. Balwinder Singh Sandhu was part of the battery of medium-pacers who brought India their surprise win in the 1983 World Cup final. Sandhu took the first West Indies wicket by bowling Gordon Greenidge for 1.

The Oval staged the first competitive match to be played under floodlights in London, which prompted Christopher Martin-Jenkins to write: "The surprise, perhaps, is that it has taken English cricket so long to appreciate that even in a fickle climate the idea of playing at night, so successful overseas since Kerry Packer set the trend in 1978, was feasible here too." But what remained unfeasible was Surrey lifting their poor form in the 40-over tournament. They lost to Sussex by eight wickets.

Birth of Duncan Sharpe. One of the few Christians to play for Pakistan, he scored 56 and 35 on his Test debut, against Australia (where he later emigrated) in 1959-60.

Death by drowning of William Bruce. The first left-handed Australian batsman to tour England in 1886, his highest Test score was an attractive 80 against England in Adelaide in 1894-95.

Death of one of the longest-lived first-class cricketers. Rupert de Smidt, 102, had played for Western Province just before the First World War.

Birth of New Zealand wicketkeeper Chris Nevin, who played 37 ODIs between 2000 and 2003. He scored a lively 74 when opening against Australia in 1999-2000, but was not used after moderate scores in South Africa later in 2000. Although ignored for the 2003 World Cup, Nevin was offered another chance to establish a longer-term place for himself as one half of New Zealand's one-day international opening-batting combination. He failed to seize the opportunity, however, continuing to play domestic cricket. In 2009 he became only the fourth player from Wellington to reach 100 first-class matches.

Other birthdays
1960 Gopal Sharma (India)
1939 AK Sengupta (India)
1933 Pat Crawford (Australia)
1855 Joe Hunter (England)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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