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September 29 down the years

The long-fingered Mr Gibbs

Birth of an indefatigable West Indian spinner

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Lance Gibbs: the first spinner to 300 Test wickets
Lance Gibbs: the first spinner to 300 Test wickets © Getty Images

The birth of the first spinner to take 300 Test wickets. With his lissome figure and unusually long fingers, Lance Gibbs allied pronounced spin and bounce to a fierce accuracy. He took 309 wickets in 79 Tests - including 18 five-fors - all the while conceding his runs at a staggering 1.99 per over. Brave and indefatigable, his best run was between 1960 and 1962. He was left out of the first two Tests in Australia, but Gibbs took three wickets in four balls in Sydney and a hat-trick in the next Test, in Adelaide. The following winter he returned the remarkable figures of 53.3-37-38-8 against India in Barbados, all eight wickets coming in a 15-over spell at a cost of just six runs. It was a performance he never bettered.

The bank clerk who went to war was born on this day. That's how David Steele was described when he was called up to make his Test debut at Lord's at the age of 33 against Lillee and Thomson in 1975. Grey-haired and bespectacled, Steele stood up to all the Australians could throw at him and made 365 runs at 60.83. "Test cricket," said the Wisden Almanack, "had not enjoyed such a romantic story for decades." Steele became a hugely popular figure and was even voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1975. It was also his benefit year, and Steele received a meat chop from a local butcher for every first-class run he scored. By the end of the summer, he had 1756 of them.

An economical left-hander with an ungainly bottom-out stance, Chris Broad, born today, came of age in Australia in England's Ashes victory in 1986-87. He made hundreds in three consecutive Tests, but disciplinary problems the following winter cost him dear. He refused to walk after being given out in Lahore; two months later he smashed down his stumps in the Bicentennial Test in Sydney. His poor fielding, abrasive character and persistent back problems did not help either. Despite six hundreds in his previous 18 Tests, Broad was dropped during 1988 and played only twice more before joining Mike Gatting's rebel tour to South Africa. He is now an ICC match referee.

Insomniacs the world over celebrated as India's Anshuman Gaekwad completed the then-slowest double-century in Tests, against Pakistan in Jullundur. He took 652 minutes and 426 balls to reach his milestone - at the time it was the slowest in first-class cricket as well - as the second Test petered out into a draw.

Chinaman bowler Lindsay Kline was born in Victoria. He represented Australia in just 13 Tests, nine of them overseas, where he was notably successful (31 wickets at 15.35). He took a hat-trick in his second Test, in Cape Town in 1957-58, but is best remembered for facing the last ball of the first tied Test, against West Indies in Brisbane in the classic 1960-61 series. He also denied West Indies for 100 minutes as Australia held on for a draw in Adelaide in the same series. It was his last act in Test cricket.

Mominul Haque, born today, has done enough in his young career to show why he is so highly rated in Bangladesh. His Test average hasn't dipped below 50 since his fourth match and he once went on a run of 11 successive Test fifties, falling just one short of the world record held by AB de Villiers. Although he isn't a regular in the limited-overs squads, he captained Bangladesh A in all formats on its tour of India, suggesting that he is seen an integral part of the national team's future.

A remarkable performance from Saleem Elahi led Pakistan to a nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first one-day international in Gujranwala. Not yet 19, Elahi stroked an unbeaten 102 on his ODI debut at a time when he had not even played a first-class match. And he reached three figures in the grand manner, with a straight six off Pramodya Wickramasinghe, thus becoming the fourth person, after Dennis Amiss, Desmond Haynes and Andy Flower, to score a hundred on his ODI debut.

The second Test between Zimbabwe and New Zealand ended in a draw in Bulawayo, with the series tied 0-0. But this was no bore draw. Set 286 to win after a sporting declaration from Zimbabwean captain Alistair Campbell, New Zealand closed on 275 for 8, having looked set for victory at 207 for 3. The match was notable for Guy Whittall's unbeaten first-innings 203 and legspinner Adam Huckle's unlikely match figures of 11 for 255.

Other birthdays
1930 Ramnath Kenny (India)
1957 Mark Nicholas (England)
1979 Ciara Metcalfe (Ireland)
1980 Michael Carberry (England)
1981 Rikki Clarke (England)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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