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September 26 down the years

An Aussie to the core

One of Australia's best captains is born

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Chappelli, minus hairy upper lip
Chappelli, minus hairy upper lip © PA Photos

Where to start with Ian Chappell, who was born in Adelaide on this day? An Aussie to the core, Chappell was a brave, adaptable batsman, good enough to make 14 hundreds in 75 Tests, and an excellent slip fielder, but he will be best remembered as one of his country's finest captains - Dennis Lillee rated him the best captain he played under. Chappell was at the helm in 1974-75 when Australia crushed England to regain the Ashes, and he was also in charge when Australia held onto the urn in 1975. His blunt, plain-speaking ways led to several brushes with the cricket administrators; his unhappiness with them led him to play a leading role in the setting up of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket. He is now a respected and hard-hitting TV commentator.

The birth of one of India's greatest batsmen. An outstanding player of quick bowling at a time when most of his countrymen played the pacemen like startled rabbits, Vijay Manjrekar was a master technician and better than his Test average of 39.12 suggests. In his first Test innings overseas, he hit a memorable 133 against Fred Trueman and Alec Bedser at Headingley in 1952. He made seven hundreds in 55 Tests, including an unbeaten 189 against England in Delhi in 1961-62. Nimble on his feet despite carrying a few surplus pounds, he also made an unbeaten 102 in his final Test innings, in 1964-65. He died at the age of 52 in Madras in 1983. His son Sanjay was an Indian regular in the 1980s and 90s.

A true character was born in Manchester. Bob Barber was a fearless, attacking left-hand opener and useful legspinner who represented Lancashire, Warwickshire and England with distinction. A natural cricketer and entertainer, whom the Wisden Almanack described as "virtually uncoached", Barber had an effervescence that made him extremely popular, especially in Australia. Though from the other side of the Pennines, he was very much in the mould of Darren Gough. He averaged 35 in 28 Tests and would have played more but for business commitments. His only Test hundred was a majestic 185 in Sydney in 1965-66, which led to his being made a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1967.

A famous victory for Sri Lanka in Sialkot. They beat Pakistan by 144 runs in the third Test to seal their first-ever victory in a three-match series overseas. It was also Pakistan's first home series defeat since 1980-81 and only the fourth instance - three of which had been in the previous year - of a side winning a three-Test rubber after losing the first match. It came after the sort of collapse that only Pakistan are capable of. They slipped to 15 for 5 chasing an unlikely 357 to win, after which, for all the admirable defiance of Moin Khan's unbeaten 117, there was only ever going to be one winner.

In 1901, South African allrounder Charles "Buck" Llewellyn, who was born today, became the first man to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets for Hampshire in an English first-class season. For good measure he repeated the feat in 1908 and 1910. Llewellyn played 15 Tests between 1896 and 1912, averaging 20 in the middle order and 29 with his left-arm spinners at a time when South Africa were largely Test cricket's whipping boys. He played a crucial role in their first Test win overseas, and their first against Australia, in Adelaide in 1910-11. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1911.

A red-letter day for Indian slow left-armer Sunil Joshi, who made the most of a spinner's paradise in the LG Cup match in Nairobi to return the remarkable figures of 10-6-6-5. There were no cheap wickets here either: Joshi's famous five were Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs, Hansie Cronje, Jonty Rhodes and Shaun Pollock. With South Africa routed for 117, India won by eight wickets with over 27 overs to spare - but the South Africans would have the last laugh in the final.

One of Test cricket's less successful debutants was born. When he made his Test debut for West Indies against New Zealand in Barbados in 1995-96, Patterson Thompson had a shocker. Making Devon Malcolm look like a metronome, he bowled 22 no-balls and returned match figures of 22-1-135-4 - which flattered him. He played just one more Test, in Australia the following winter, and that was that. His Test strike rate, 45.6, would do anyone proud but his economy-rate, 5.65, would make even a joke bowler blush.

Australia got out of jail in southern Sri Lanka. A tropical storm in Galle meant that only 4.2 overs were possible on the final day, and the second Test against Sri Lanka was drawn. In all, only 30.5 overs were possible on the last three days. For Australia, already one-down in the series, it was a good job too: on a raging turner Sri Lanka were in total control, 123 ahead with 10 second-innings wickets intact.

The birth of Jonny Bairstow, the son of former England wicketkeeper David. He cemented his place in the Yorkshire first XI with an impressive first-class debut in June 2009. He maintained his consistency over the next two years - notching 17 half-centuries - but it was only in May 2011 that he registered his maiden first-class hundred, a double-century, against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. His first series, against West Indies in 2012, wasn't a happy one for Bairstow but he rose to the challenge with a brilliant 95 in the third Test against South Africa at Lord's.

A promising Zimbabwean allrounder is born. Sean Williams, a left-hand top-order batsman and more than useful left-arm spinner, led the country's Under-19 side in the World Cup in Sri Lanka in February 2006. He turned down a central contract the following month, opting to look for a more settled career overseas, although he again changed his mind, returning to play for Zimbabwe three months later. He went on to feature as a regular member of the national side in Tests and the shorter forms.

Other birthdays
1947 Franklyn Dennis (Canada)
1972 Mark Haslam (New Zealand)
1981 Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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