The biggest blob in Test cricket
England reached the lowest point of the home series against Australia, bowled out for 52 - but the main talking-point at The Oval was probably the most dramatic duck in Test cricket. Needing to score only four runs to reach 7000 in Tests and an average of 100, Don Bradman was bowled second ball by Eric Hollies. England lost by an innings, so the Don didn't get a second chance in his final Test. The cricketing gods held a little back at the very end.
A Test-saving effort with added charm. Sachin Tendulkar was just 17 years 112 days when he made his maiden Test century, 119 not out against England at Old Trafford. He is the third-youngest to do so, behind Mushtaq Mohammad and Mohammad Ashraful of Bangladesh, who broke the record in September 2001 against Sri Lanka. Tendulkar and Manoj Prabhakar batted through the last two-and-a-half hours with India six down and seemingly heading for defeat.
One of South Africa's greatest batsmen died on this day. Dudley Nourse averaged 53.81 in his 34 Tests, carrying his country's batting in any number of series. He stood alone against Australia in 1935-36, averaging 57.55 and hitting 231 at the old Wanderers ground, and scored 621 runs in the 1947 series in England. But he saved his most heroic performance for 1951: 208 at Trent Bridge, made with a broken thumb.
The day Tony Greig grovelled. In a BBC interview before the 1976 series against West Indies, England's captain Greig came out with a foolish boast: "When the West Indies are down they grovel... and I intend to make them grovel." After defeats in the third and fourth Tests, Greig finally conceded that his comments had been ill conceived, and as England were put to the sword at The Oval, he grovelled on his hands and knees in front of a partisan full-house crowd. But the third day's play ended amid unsavoury scenes, when play had to be suspended for 10 minutes after Greig's dismissal triggered a pitch invasion by spectators.
Death of Hugh Trumble, one of the great cricketers of his time. A lean and mean offspinner, all of his 141 wickets for Australia, a world record at the time, were taken against England. He was the last player to hold world records for most catches (45) as well as wickets in Tests. His brother John also played for Australia.
At Chichester, JS Carrick recorded the highest individual innings, making 419 for West of Scotland against Priory Park. He batted throughout a two-day match. Carrick's record lasted less than 13 months.
It was an innings fit to grace any stage, let alone the home of cricket. Claire Taylor's silky 156 from 151 balls against India eclipsed Viv Richards' record of fastest one-day hundred at Lord's, and she was immediately rewarded with an honours board at the ground.
One of the great allrounders is born. Australian Jack Gregory was a superstar of the 1920s: hostile fast bowler, hard-hitting batsman, superb close fielder. He still holds the record for the fastest hundred (by minutes) for his innings in 1921 against South Africa in Johannesburg - he got to his century in 70 minutes and made 119 in 85. In 24 Tests, he made 1146 runs at 36.96 and took 85 wickets at 31.15.
The day Mike Watkinson and Richard Illingworth saved a Test for England - with the bat. They shared 65 years but only six Test caps when it happened, against West Indies at Trent Bridge. With Watkinson crashing 82, and Illingworth doggedly holding up an end with a fractured finger, they added an unbroken 80 for the last wicket at a time when Brian Lara, bang in the middle of a purple patch of 583 runs in three Tests, was hovering ominously over a tight runs/time equation.
Birth of Pakistan batsman Ramiz Raja, whose Test average of 31.83 didn't do justice to his talent. The second of his two Test hundreds was the more valuable, a top score of 114 to earn a draw after India had declared at 465 for 8 in Jaipur in 1986-87. Ramiz later became the chief executive of the PCB, but resigned in 2004 citing increasing media commitments as the reason. He's still one of Pakistan's leading television commentators. His brother Wasim Raja, an allrounder, also played Test cricket.
A day when Gladstone Small's radar needed recalibrating. When he opened the bowling for Warwickshire against Middlesex, his first over lasted 18 balls, including 11 no-balls and a wide. It is thought to be the record for the longest over when no-balls weren't deliberate.
Birth of Indian middle-order batsman Pravin Amre, who scored a century in his debut Test innings, in Durban in 1992-93. Despite an average of 42.50 in 11 matches, his Test career didn't last beyond the following year.
Controversial South African pace bowler Cuan McCarthy died on this day. Although he took 36 Test wickets, including 6 for 43 on his debut against England in 1948-49, his career was blighted by accusations of throwing.
Sri Lankan seamer Pramodya Wickremasinghe was born. Never the most penetrative opening bowler, he took 85 wickets in 40 Tests - and none at all in the 1996 World Cup, in which he played four matches, including the final. He went home with a winner's medal despite finishing the tournament with figures of 0 for 141 in 27 overs.
Kenya wicketkeeper David Obuya, born today, took over national keeping duties when his older brother, Kennedy Otieno, left to play club cricket in Australia. Though Obuya made his debut in 2001, it took him a long time to establish himself - poor scores didn't help. After he made a surprise comeback in 2006, having been out of the side for three years, Obuya's batting improved. He went into the 2007 World Cup having scored three half-centuries, but made only five runs in the tournament. The 2011 World Cup was more memorable because of the half-century he scored against Sri Lanka.
Legspinning allrounder Oscar Charles Scott was born. When England scored 849 in Kingston in 1929-30, "Tommy" Scott's five wickets cost him 266 runs, still third on the all-time list of runs conceded in a Test innings, behind "Chuck" Fleetwood-Smith's 298 in 1938 and Rajesh Chauhan's 276 in 1997-98 - neither of whom could match Tommy's feat of conceding 374 in a Test. His son Alf also played for West Indies.
Death of that decidedly useful allrounder Sibley John Snooke, who had to wait more than 10 years for his last Test, against England in 1922-23. "Tip" Snooke's only century helped South Africa to their only win of the 1910-11 series in Australia, and his 35 Test wickets cost just 20.05 each. He and his brother Stanley helped South Africa avoid defeat at The Oval in 1907.
A dashing Australian left-hander is born. Len Darling was brought in to bolster Australia's beleaguered Test team for the last two Tests of the Bodyline series, and he hit his Test highest of 85 in Sydney. Many thought he was less bothered by the onslaught of Larwood and Co than anyone else save Stan McCabe. However, Darling retired suddenly at 27; it was believed that marriage played an important part in his decision.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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