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December 5 down the years

Hat-trick hero

Big Merv lets West Indies have it

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Heroism in a lost cause
Heroism in a lost cause © Topdraw (Marketing) Ltd

An outstanding display from Merv Hughes could not stop a crushing West Indian victory in the second Test in Perth. Hughes took 13 for 217 in the match, including the most convoluted hat-trick in Test history. He dismissed Curtly Ambrose with the last ball of his 36th over, Patrick Patterson with the first ball of his 37th (the last of West Indies' first innings) and Gordon Greenidge with the first ball of the second innings. It was an almost indecently brave performance, but West Indies were always in control after Viv Richards lashed 146 off 150 balls, and they clinched a 169-run victory on the final day.

England wins in Australia aren't common, making their victory at Brisbane's Exhibition Ground in the first Test of the 1928-29 series even more remarkable. Australia started the last day on 17 for 1 chasing 742 and showed they had no stomach for the fight, being bowled out for 66. Don Bradman, on his debut, made 18 and 1, and as a result was dropped for the only time in his international career.

A great day for Ken Barrington, who became the first man to score hundreds against six different Test-playing countries (the ones available to him at the time - Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh had not yet joined the big boys) with 148 not out against South Africa in Durban. That set England up for an innings victory, with their spinners, Fred Titmus, David Allen and Bob Barber, sharing 15 wickets.

Jimmy Adams continued a remarkable run of form in the drawn second Test between West Indies and India in Nagpur. Adams, whose canny use of his legs earned him the nickname "Padams" on this tour, made 125 not out and 23, to add to 39 and 81 in the first Test. He would make 174 and 78, both not out, in the third match. Adams and Carl Hooper helped West Indies negotiate a tricky final day on a slow turner. It gave them the chance to keep their 15-year unbeaten series run alive - a chance they grabbed with a crushing victory in the third Test to square the series.

Birth of the fastest Test centurion on debut. Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan was the Player of the Tournament in the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, but it took him nine years to get a Test call-up, partly because Sehwag and Gambhir were settled at the top. Dhawan made the most of his chance by smashing 187 off 174 balls against Australia in Mohali in his first Test, following it up with a century and 98 in New Zealand in February 2014. He struggled on India's tours to England and Australia later that year, but did well in the 2015 World Cup, making 412 runs at 51.50. Though he's criticised for his footwork-free technique, Dhawan became only the third Indian opener to score back-to-back away Test hundreds, in Fatullah and Galle in 2015, the latter a restrained contrast to his natural attacking style.

On paper, England's 1958-59 Ashes squad was one of the strongest ever assembled, but on the field they fell apart at the seams. It all started to go wrong on the first day of the series when they were bowled out for 134 in Brisbane, after Peter May, leading England for a record 26th time, won the toss and batted despite the pitch having a distinctly green tinge. They went on the lose the series 0-4.

Birth of attacking New Zealand opening batsman Matthew Horne, whose century at Lord's in 1999 helped New Zealand clinch a famous away-series win. Horne scored three other Test hundreds, his first against Australia and two against Zimbabwe. However, after the Lord's innings, Horne failed to score a half-century in the next nine Tests, after which his appearances became sporadic. He showed shades of his attacking instincts in his 50 ODIs but failed to convert any of his five half-centuries to three figures. He retired from first-class cricket in May 2006, while playing league cricket in Scotland.

England's wretched tour of Zimbabwe - poor results on the field and a series of PR gaffes off it - continued with a seven-wicket loss against Mashonaland, a result made worse by the fact that James Kirtley, who went on to play for England against Zimbabwe, had match figures of 7 for 87. In a sign of things to come, a pitch incursion by a single semi-clad streaker prompted a baton charge from something like 50 helmeted security guards.

A good day for 17-year-old Sachin Tendulkar as India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in Poona. He made his first ODI half-century and also chipped in with two wickets, two catches and a run-out. Despite a 27-ball 58 from Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka were only able to set a modest target of 228. India got there with almost four overs to spare.

Mark Dekker, who was born today, was a solid top-order batsman and an excellent cover fielder for Zimbabwe. He had a dramatic entry to Test cricket when, in Pakistan in 1992-93, he carried his bat in Rawalpindi in only his second match. He made a brace of 68s and featured in century partnership in each innings, but was left stranded when Zimbabwe, chasing 240, crashed from 135 for 1 to 187.

Another Bangladeshi left-arm spinner is born. Enamul Haque junior was brought in in 2003 as a partner to the ageing Mohammad Rafique, and troubled England's batsmen in his first two Tests as home. His best performances, though, were reserved for Zimbabwe - he took 18 wickets in two Tests against them in 2006. But Enamul lost his place when other left-arm spinners began to emerge in the ranks, and he went out of the side in 2009. Strong domestic performances prompted the selectors to pick him again for a tour to Sri Lanka in 2013, but Enamul was unlucky to pick up a hamstring injury two days after the squad was announced.

Mike Gatting started off a very good tour of India for both him and England with a match-winning 115 not out in the first ODI in Pune. England went on to win 2-1 in the Tests and 4-1 in the one-dayers, and Gatting scored a belated maiden Test hundred in his 54th innings. For good measure, he added 207 three Tests later in England's victory in Madras.

Other birthdays
1940 Tony Crafter (Australia)
1943 Jill Cruwys (England)
1967 Geeshe Ludwig (Netherlands)
1973 Kester Sylvester (West Indies)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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