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August 5 down the years

Sobie all round

Garry Sobers lights up Headingley

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Sobers: a colossus in 1966
Sobers: a colossus in 1966 © Getty Images

A hundred between lunch and tea by Garry Sobers set up the victory at Headingley that fetched West Indies the honours in a series he dominated with bat, ball and coin. He scored 722 runs at 103.14, took 20 wickets, and won all five tosses. In this match, Sobers took a five-for that forced England to follow on. In the second innings he took three more but it was Lance Gibbs, who did most of the damage, taking his best figures against England - 6 for 39. According to Wisden, Gibbs used "pace and skillful variations of flight rather than prodigious spin".

The day when England retained the urn. They held on to the Ashes after Manchester's weather proved a far more impassable barrier to Australia's bowlers than the hosts' top order batting on a grey final day at Old Trafford. The end came in anti-climactic circumstances when it was announced that play had been abandoned at 4.39pm local time. The only previous time England knew they had possession of the Ashes after the third Test of a series of five Tests or more was in 1928-29, when Percy Chapman's side actually won the first four matches of the series Down Under, before losing the last game.

Records tumbled at Hove where Ted Bowley (283) and John Langridge (195) added 490 for Sussex's first wicket against Middlesex, the home side ending the day on 512 for 3. Bowley was 44 and in his final season with the county.


On his first day as England captain, Mike Atherton top-scored with 72 at Edgbaston,­ but it was soon the same old story as Australia went on to win the Test.

A superb innings of 125 by Graeme Pollock, full of classical strokes still shown on television today, set South Africa on the way to winning the Trent Bridge Test and eventually the series - their last in England for 29 years. His brother Peter shone with the ball, taking ten in the match, including dismissing Geoff Boycott and Ken Barrington for 0 and 1 which meant England ended day one on 16 for 2.

Birth of Indian pace bowler Venkatesh Prasad, who was often Javagal Srinath's partner with the new ball. Prasad took five wickets in each innings against South Africa in Durban in 1996-97, and his five victims in a World Cup match against Pakistan at Old Trafford in 1999 were all big names - Saleem Malik, Saeed Anwar, Moin Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Wasim Akram. After retirement, Prasad took up the role of bowling coach for the Indian team and was part of successes that he didn't enjoy during his caeer - series wins in England and New Zealand. He was axed, though, after India's disappointing performances in the World Twenty20 and the Champions Trophy in 2009.

Birth of the late-blooming Vasbert Drakes. An indifferent start to his international career consigned him to seven years in county cricket and on the domestic circuit in South Africa, but he returned at the age of 33. Tall, nippy and useful down the order, Drakes shone early in his comeback, taking 16 wickets in his first three Tests. His most memorable performance was a spunky, unbeaten 27 against Australia in Antigua that steered his team to victory in a record run-chase.

Pace bowler Aaqib Javed was born. He played in his first one-day international at 16, made his Test debut at 17, and helped Pakistan beat England in the 1992 World Cup final, in which he conceded only 27 runs in 10 overs and took the wickets of Alec Stewart and Neil Fairbrother. His 7 for 37 against India in Sharjah in 1991-92 was an ODI record at the time. Aaqib took up coaching after retirement and had assisting roles with the Pakistan side from 2009 to 2012, after which he signed a three-year deal to coach the UAE national team.

Successful Test captain Harry Trott was born. He led Australia to a 4-1 win over England in 1897-98. His only Test century was a heroic knock, 143 at Lord's in 1896 after Australia had been dismissed for only 53 in the first innings. He also took 29 wickets and 21 catches in his 24 Tests. His flamboyant brother Albert also played Test cricket.

Double international Maurice Turnbull died on this day. He scored some valuable Test runs for England, including his only fifty, 61 in Johannesburg in 1930-31. He was also an international rugby scrum-half, one of seven new caps who helped Wales beat England in 1933.

Birth of Athula Samarasekera, who kicked off his one-day and Test careers with ducks (though he made an aggressive half-century in the second innings of his first Test). Too often he was dismissed when he seemed set to dominate the bowling. When he did score it was worth watching as he provided entertainment with his aggressive style. Never able to fully establish a permanent position in the team, Samarasekera ended his international career by deciding to take up professional cricket in Bangladesh.

Other birthdays
1920 Winifred Leech (England)
1962 Richard de Groen (New Zealand)
1973 Sanwar Hossain (Bangladesh)
1981 Alester Maregwede (Zimbabwe)
1991 Sohag Gazi (Bangladesh)
1992 Abul Hasan (Bangladesh)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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