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August 8 down the years

A New Zealand star

Kane Williamson is born

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Big Gus: Always your man for a hard toil
Big Gus: Always your man for a hard toil © Getty Images
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1990
Birth of talented young New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, who made a century on Test debut in Ahmedabad in 2010. He got another half-century in the next Test in Hyderabad, and a year later, when Zimbabwe bowled out New Zealand for 252, Williamson's 68, which lasted more than three hours, was key in his side avoiding an embarrassing defeat. He also made a match-saving hundred against a strong South African attack, this time batting five and a half hours for an unbeaten 102. He racked up 413 runs in three Tests against West Indies in 2014, including a second-innings 161 in the third Test at Providence that helped his side secure a rare away series win. Later that year he made 192 in a 297-run stand with Brendon McCullum that helped square the series in the UAE against Pakistan.

2015
England regained the Ashes with an innings-and-78-run win at Trent Bridge in just over two days, marking a unbelievable turnaround after they were drubbed 5-0 in Australia in 2013-14. The match was all but won in the opening session on day one when Stuart Broad's 8 for 15 sent Australia crashing to 60 in 18.3 overs - the shortest first innings in Test history. Joe Root (130) and Jonny Bairstow (74) rubbed it in and England declared with a lead of 331. A two-day finish looked probable when Ben Stokes took a five-wicket haul to reduce Australia to 241 for 7 in their second innings, but England eventually wrapped it up early on the third day. It was Alastair Cook's second consecutive Ashes series win at home as captain. Australia's under-fire captain, Michael Clarke, announced that the fifth Test at The Oval would be his last international match.

1965
Birth of one of England's prime seam bowlers Angus Fraser. Even after a major hip operation had reduced his pace and hostility, he twice took eight wickets in a Test innings in the West Indies. His first Test victim was Steve Waugh, who Fraser dismissed for the first time in the 1989 series after Waugh scored 393 runs. Big Gus finished with 177 Test wickets and only injury stopped him reaching the 200 he'd set his sights on.

1987
At long last, Pakistan's innings of 708 at The Oval came to an end. The highest in their Test history, it made sure of a draw and a 1-0 win in the series. England were in the field for more than two days, bowling 220.3 overs, with Ian Botham taking 3 for 217.

1988
The end of another West Indian thrashing for England. They avoided a third consecutive blackwash, but a 4-0 scoreline brooks no argument. In this final Test at The Oval, Graham Gooch's first as captain, England took a first-innings lead after a storming display from Neil Foster, but they couldn't finish it off. It's not hard to see why - this really was a motley English crew, including Messrs Curtis, Bailey, Maynard, Capel, Richards and Childs. You don't beat Viv Richards and Co with that little lot.

1940
Birth of Dilip Sardesai, whose stubbornness served India best in the Caribbean in 1970-71, when his three Test centuries included a career-best 212 in Kingston. He averaged 80.25 as India won the series 1-0. In England in 1971, Sardesai's pivotal double of 54 and 40 allowed Bhagwath Chandrasekhar to hasten England's defeat at The Oval. Sardesai was limpet-like and usually defensive, but he could attack when he needed to, and scored one of India's fastest hundreds, against New Zealand in Delhi in 1964-65. He died in Mumbai in 2007.

1909
Birth of Bill Voce, Harold Larwood's henchman in the 1932-33 Bodyline series, and heroic mainstay of the attack in 1936-37, when he took 17 wickets in the first two Tests, before Don Bradman turned a 2-0 deficit into a unique 3-2 win. Big Bill returned to Australia in 1946-47, but he was past his best and took 0 for 161 in his final two Tests.

1889
Jack Ryder, the first batsman to score six consecutive Test fifties, was born. His unbeaten 201 against England in Adelaide in 1924-25 is one of the great knocks of all time. Australia won by just 11 runs to take a winning 3-0 lead in the series. He was the losing captain in the 1928-29 Ashes series.

1914
At the age of 66, WG Grace played his last match in club cricket, for Eltham at home to Northbrook. In an anticlimactic end for such a colossus, he didn't bat or bowl and the match ended in a draw.

1977
Pakistan's Mohammad Wasim, born today, shot to fame as a 19-year-old with 109 on debut against New Zealand in December 1997. That hundred earned him an extended run in the side, but there followed a string of low scores, punctuated by 192 against Zimbabwe in Harare. After back-to-back failures against Sri Lanka in 2000, he was dropped; his one-day career followed a similar trajectory. In 2002-03 he signed for Otago to play domestic cricket there.

1973
Birth of Shane Lee, the older brother of Brett, who made a memorable debut when he hit a 27-ball 39 in Australia's win over West Indies in an ODI in Adelaide in 1995. But he failed to live up to expectations through to the 1996 World Cup and was dropped thereafter. In 2000 he was made the New South Wales captain, but knee troubles limited his appearances throughout much of the next few seasons, and led to his early retirement in April 2003, aged 29.

Other birthdays
1951 Phil Carlson (Australia)
1952 Sudhakar Rao (India)
1964 Paul Taylor (England)
1968 Abey Kuruvilla (India)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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