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December 8 down the years

The second 200

Sehwag becomes the second man to go past 200 in ODIs

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Virender Sehwag: singing his way to 219
Virender Sehwag: singing his way to 219 © AFP
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2011
Less than two years after Sachin Tendulkar became the first man to score an ODI double, Virender Sehwag made 219 - while allegedly humming Hindi film songs - against West Indies in Indore, not too far from Gwalior, where Tendulkar got his. Sehwag's spectacular innings took 149 balls in all, and the 200 came as early as the 44th over. Though he didn't slog, Sehwag took plenty of risks and survived two dropped catches as he directed India towards their highest ODI total, 418. He was caught in the deep in the 47th over, and didn't come out to field, though he was the captain - not that West Indies challenged India at any stage during the chase. Sehwag's score stood as the highest ODI score for three years, until it was overtaken by Rohit Sharma in 2014.

1914
An unsung Invincible is born. Left-arm medium pacer Ernie Toshack didn't have the glamour of a Bradman, a Lindwall or a Miller, but he played a crucial role in the famous 1948 side that hammered England 4-0. Toshack played in the first four Tests, and took 5 for 40 in the second innings of the rout in the second Test, at Lord's. Toshack, one of the game's most captivating characters, was tall, with striking, rugged features, and known to his team-mates as The Black Prince.

1959
The only American president to watch a Test match live at the ground dropped in on this day in Karachi. Quite what Dwight Eisenhower made of it as Pakistan ground out 104 runs for the loss of five wickets against Richie Benaud's Australians we never shall know - the occasion didn't make it into his memoirs. Hanif Mohammad made a long-winded hundred in a match also notable for Intikhab Alam taking a wicket (that of Colin McDonald) with his first ball in Test cricket.

1987
It's lucky Eisenhower wasn't in Faisalabad, where Mike Gatting and Shakoor Rana indulged in one of cricket most infamous rows. Neither party came out of the incident well, and the image of the two standing toe to toe and yelling and gesticulating was published around the world. The net result was that the third day's play was lost as arguments raged about who should apologise.

1989
Probably the first Test century ever scored by a 6ft 8in beanpole who broke the world record for hurling a haggis. Tom Moody, who threw one 230ft in 1989, scored a hundred for Australia on this day against Sri Lanka in Brisbane. A tour de force from Aravinda de Silva (167 in 491 minutes) ensured that Sri Lanka escaped with a draw.

1936
Peter Parfitt, the loquacious left-hander, was born today. He was a handy batsman at a time when England were well-stocked with such creatures, and made seven Test hundreds, the first four of them against a rather modest Pakistan side. He was a great slip fielder, and a key member and sometime captain of the fitful Middlesex side of the 1960s. "Parf" tells a good story, as befits a former pub landlord turned genial corporate-hospitality host.

1927
An amazing performance in Indian domestic cricket by an Englishman. RJO "Jack" Meyer took 16 for 188 for Europeans in their Bombay Pentangular Tournament match against Muslims. It remained the best bowling return of a varied career that also included a double-century for Somerset. Meyer later found fame as the founder of Millfield School.

1917
An Australian captain is born. Ian Johnson was a tall offspinner with a jerky action who scraped to the Test double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in the last of his 45 Tests. A fringe member of the Invincibles in 1948, Johnson returned as Australia's captain in 1956, but couldn't match the offspinning feats of Jim Laker. Later a genial secretary of the Melbourne Cricket Club, he died in 1998.

1961
Jackie McGlew, South Africa's captain, carried his bat for 127 against New Zealand in Durban. South Africa's 292 proved just enough - even though they were all out for 149 in the second innings they squeaked home by 30 runs. Peter Pollock, on his debut, took 6 for 38 (and nine in the match) as New Zealand folded for 166.

1992
A low-scoring ODI in Sydney. In a match shortened to 30 overs by rain, Australia looked out for the count when they were shot out for 101. Curtly Ambrose took 3 for 18 and surprise packet Phil Simmons 3 for 11. But West Indies collapsed for 87 (Paul Reiffel 3 for 14). Mark Taylor, in his first match as captain in the absence of the injured Allan Border, took the match award for "leadership and exceptional catching" (he held four).

1964
England completed what turned out to be a series-winning victory in the first Test, in Durban. Centuries from Ken Barrington and Jim Parks lifted England to 485 for 5, then the offspinners David Allen and Fred Titmus got to work. South Africa, Graeme Pollock and all, were shot out for 155 and 226, and England won by an innings. The remaining four Tests of a somewhat attritional series were drawn.

1984
When Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine, born this day, burst onto the international scene in 2009, he was seen as a sure-shot successor to Brad Haddin. His secure glovemanship - and a well-compiled 111 against England in just his seventh ODI - only bolstered his reputation. However, that promising start was cut short by repeated injuries to his right index finger that effectively ended his international career. He did make a strong comeback to the domestic scene, though, captaining Tasmania in limited-overs cricket and Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL.

Other birthdays
1936 Buster Farrer (South Africa)
1922 George Fullerton (South Africa)
1942 Hemant Kanitkar (India)
1861 Charles Leslie (England)
1941 Geoff Hurst (England)
1946 Warren Stott (New Zealand)
1955 Ian Greig (England)
1967 Melt van Schoor (Namibia)

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