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August 17 down the years

England suffer Whispering Death

Holding rubs England's face in it

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Michael Holding: the only West Indian to take 14 wickets in a Test
Michael Holding: the only West Indian to take 14 wickets in a Test © AllSport UK Ltd
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1976
One of the most extraordinary pieces of sustained fast bowling ended with Michael Holding becoming the only West Indian to take 14 wickets in a Test. On an Oval pitch known as a graveyard for pace bowlers, he twice clean-bowled the England captain Tony Greig, who had suggested before the series that West Indies might "grovel". Holding lived up to his nickname of Whispering Death, taking 8 for 92 and 6 for 57 to wrap up a 3-0 series win.

1972
Birth of Habibul Bashar, the only Bangladesh batsman to score fifties in each innings of a Test on three occasions. Bashar started off with 71 and 30 in his country's debut match, against India in 2000-01, and then made 64 and 76 against Zimbabwe in Harare later the same season. He scored 141 runs in a two-Test series in Australia too. But after a poor World Cup in 2007, Bashar gave up the one-day captaincy and was later dropped from the ODI squad. He announced his retirement from all forms of the game in March 2010.

1964
One of the best and most unforgettable opening batsmen scored the first of his 22 Test centuries. Geoff Boycott was still wearing glasses when he made 113 at The Oval against Graham McKenzie and Neil Hawke. Australia retained the Ashes when rain washed out the last day.

2002
Nineteen-year-old Mithali Raj made the highest score in a women's Test with her 214 in a drawn match in Taunton. She broke Karen Rolton's record of 204, set the previous year. It was Raj's third Test and her innings was a clear sign of the mountain of runs she would go on to make. Her record was broken by Pakistani batsman Kiran Baloch in 2004.

1946
After making 128 at The Oval, classy opening batsman Vijay Merchant was run out by Denis Compton, who played for Arsenal when they won the 1950 FA Cup final. Like the skilful winger he was, Compo ran Merchant out by kicking the ball onto the stumps.

1878
Hard-hitting Australian batsman Reggie Duff was born. When rain fell on his Test debut, against England in Melbourne in 1901-02, he was held back until the pitch improved. He then made 104, the first century by a No. 10 in Test cricket. Australia's win levelled the series. After that hundred in his first Test, Duff scored another in his last, top-scoring with 146 at The Oval in 1905.

1880
A fine South African wicketkeeper-captain is born. Percy Sherwell's nine stumpings against Australia in 1910-11 equalled a series record that still stands. He captained his country in every one of his 13 matches - and his only Test century was a real leader's innings. He promoted himself to open the innings at Lord's in 1907 - then hit 115 to save a match in which South Africa had followed on. In his first Test he captained them to their first win over England, in Johannesburg in 1905-06, when he came in at No. 11 to score 22 and help snatch the match by one wicket.

1992
Northamptonshire's Curtly Ambrose lost his bearings at Dean Park, Bournemouth, with a 13-ball over that included seven no-balls. One of them clean-bowled Kevin Shine, who was also caught off another.

1931
One of the more odd scorebook entries. The Rev Jack Parsons arrived for the second day of Worcestershire's match against Warwickshire to discover that he had left his glasses at his hotel. He went to collect them, assuming that the Warwickshire innings would last a while, but he returned to find they had been bowled out and he was listed as absent.

1922
Lancashire offspinner Roy Tattersall was born. Although the considerable shadow of Jim Laker limited his Test appearances, Tattersall had his moments, sharing a match-winning stand with Reg Simpson in Melbourne in 1950-51 and taking 7 for 52 and 5 for 49 to beat South Africa at Lord's in 1951. In all, he took 58 wickets in his 16 Tests.

1924
Very few slow left-armers have played for Australia - although the first played in the very first Test match. Tom Kendall, who died on this day, was the first bowler to take seven wickets in a Test innings. In that inaugural match, in Melbourne in 1876-77, his 7 for 55 helped beat England by 45 runs. He also took six wickets in the next Test, the following month, but he couldn't stop England winning by four wickets, and wasn't capped again.

1980
Birth of Keith Dabengwa, a part-time left-arm spinner and lower-order batsman for Zimbabwe. Though Dabengwa made his debut in 2005 he played less than 40 ODIs in the next five years, missing both World Cups in that time, and he didn't take more than three wickets in any of those matches. By the time Zimbabwe returned to Test cricket in 2011, Dabengwa, despite a good domestic record, was no longer among the first picks.

Other birthdays
1990 Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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