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December 18 down the years

Ponsford's purple patch

The man who scored two quadruple-centuries in first-class cricket

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Bill Ponsford: make me a quadruple
Bill Ponsford: make me a quadruple © Getty Images
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1927
Bill Ponsford broke his own world record of 429, set in 1922, by hitting 437 for Victoria against Queensland in Melbourne. Until Brian Lara added that 400 not out to his 501, Ponsford was the only batsman to score two quadruple-centuries in first-class cricket.

1948
Another big score, in Poona, where BB Nimbalkar was left stranded on 443 - 10 short of Don Bradman's world record - when Kathiawar refused to resume after tea on the third day as they were fed up with chasing leather. Despite pleas to allow Nimbalkar to resume, they were having none of it, forfeiting the match and heading home.

1960
ML Jaisimha's innings for India against Pakistan on the third day of the second Test in Kanpur was not one designed to bring in the crowds. Resuming at 0 not out, Jaisimha managed just 54 runs in the day - in the morning session he played just five scoring shots. He was eventually run out for 99 looking for a quick single to bring up his hundred. In all, he batted for 505 minutes.

1988
In the final of the fourth Women's World Cup, England chose to bat first against their Australian hosts, in Melbourne. Jan Brittin scored an unbeaten 46, but no one could stay with her: England made only 127 for 7 and lost by eight wickets after Lindsay Reeler made 59 not out and Denise Annetts 48 not out.

1954
Transvaal's Test wicketkeeper Russell Endean enjoyed a good lunch after his unbeaten 197 in the first session of the day against Orange Free State in Johannesburg. It's still the highest score made before lunch in a first-class match.

1968
Another Test wicketkeeper equalled a world record. Brian Taber held nine catches and made three stumpings for New South Wales v South Australia in Adelaide. His 12 dismissals matched the totals of Ted Pooley (1868) and Don Tallon (1938-39) and remained the world record until Wayne James managed 13 for Matabeleland against Mashonaland in Bulawayo in 1995-96.

1910
Birth of Eric Tindill, who occupies a unique spot as the only man to play Test cricket and rugby as well as becoming a Test umpire and international rugby referee. His only rugby international was New Zealand's 13-0 defeat at Twickenham in "Obolensky's Match" of 1936. The following summer, back in England, he made his Test cricket debut, and kept wicket in five matches of a career interrupted by the Second World War. At 99, he was the oldest surviving Test cricketer but died five months short of what would have been his 100th birthday.

1931
New Zealand Test batsman Noel McGregor was born. His only Test century was made in Lahore in 1955-56, and he hit a vital 68 in New Zealand's first Test win away from home, in Cape Town in 1961-62.

1940
Long-serving wicketkeeper Arnold Long was born. He played for Surrey from 1960 to 1975 and then moved south to spend his twilight years at Sussex. Appointed as their captain in 1978, he masterminded their defeat of favourites Somerset in the 1978 Gillette Cup final. He retired in 1980 with 1046 first-class dismissals to his name.

1986
The birth of the first Muslim to play for Australia. Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja, a qualified pilot, made his debut in the Sydney Test against England in 2011. Batting at No. 3 in place of the injured Ricky Ponting, he made an impressive 37 and 21, but his international career didn't really take off since.

Other birthdays
1899 Mervyn Grell (West Indies)
1961 Lalchand Rajput (India)
1969 Keith Piper (England)
1975 Asif Mahmood (Pakistan)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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