New Zealand's best bowling figures came today at the Gabba
A great day for the incomparable Richard Hadlee, who demolished Australia in the first Test in Brisbane. Hadlee returned the best innings (9 for 52) and match (15 for 123) figures for New Zealand in Tests to set up an innings victory. He might have become only the second man after Jim Laker to take all ten in an innings too, but after grabbing the first eight wickets to fall, Hadlee produced the ultimate act of selflessness, taking a running catch to give Vaughan Brown a maiden Test wicket. It's hard to believe now, but Australia were in a real rut in the mid-1980s: this defeat came in the middle of a run of only one victory in 20 Tests.
Instant revenge for West Indies, who bounced back from the ignominy of being bowled out for 53 in the first Test against Pakistan with a crushing innings victory in the second. West Indies responded to their defeat by including two specialist spinners for the first time in over ten years - but Roger Harper and Clyde Butts bowled only one over between them. They simply weren't needed as Malcolm Marshall, Tony Gray and Courtney Walsh blew Pakistan away for 131 and 77, their lowest Test total at home. To add insult to injury, Qasim Umar had to retire hurt in the second innings after taking a short one from Walsh in the face.
Only Englishman RE "Tip" Foster (287) and Jacques Rudolph of South Africa (222*) have scored more in their debut Test innings than New Zealand's Mathew Sinclair, who was born today in Australia. Sinclair took 214 (Lawrence Rowe and Brendon Kuruppu are the only others to have scored a debut double-hundred) off a ragged West Indies side in the second Test in Wellington.
A routine eight-wicket win for Australia in the first Test against India in Bombay was notable for a special act of humility from Subrata Guha. The exclusion of offspinner Srinivas Venkataraghavan caused such a brouhaha that Guha agreed to stand down from the original team, but as a fast-medium swing bowler, he was hardly a like-for-like replacement. The match itself was largely dominated from start to finish by the Aussies, with Keith Stackpole hitting 103 and so-called mystery spinner John Gleeson taking seven wickets. But they had to endure a riot late on the fourth day, when that man Venkat was controversially given out caught behind, before finishing things off on the fifth.
After the first two days of the third Test in Dacca were washed out by rain, Pakistan took advantage of a wet coir-matting pitch to rout New Zealand for only 70, the lowest score in a Test in Pakistan until West Indies were cleaned up for 53 in 1986-87. And even that represented a bit of a recovery, because at one point New Zealand were 26 for 6. Hanif Mohammad scored 103, after Khan Mohammad took 6 for 21, but rain denied Pakistan the victory their dominance merited. New Zealand ended the fourth day firmly on the ropes at 69 for 6 - still 56 behind - but rain washed out the fifth day, and Pakistan's hopes of a 3-0 clean sweep.
Had Tommy Greenhough been born in any other country than England on this day he might well have played more than four Tests. But English wariness of legspin is legendary, and a record of 16 wickets at 22 was not enough for Greenhough to get another chance. Bouncing in off a long run, he turned the ball appreciably and took 5 for 35 in his second Test, against India at Lord's in 1959. And he was hardly loose - his Test economy rate was 1.89 runs per over. But he played his last Test against South Africa at The Oval in 1960, before returning to Lancashire, where he took most of his 751 first-class wickets.
Joe Hardstaff senior, who was born today, played for Nottinghamshire from 1902 to 1924 scoring 17,146 runs at an average of 31.34. He played five Tests for England and toured Australia in 1907-08, averaging over 51, while his aggregate of 1384 on tour was the best among his team-mates. After retiring from the Nottinghamshire team, Hardstaff became a first-class umpire and stood in 21 Test matches. He would probably have officiated in many more but for the fact that he was not allowed to umpire when his son, Joe Hardstaff jnr, was playing.
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