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December 21 down the years

A limpet at the crease

The original Little Master is born

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Hanif Mohammad at the Pakistan nets at Lord's in 1962
Hanif Mohammad at the Pakistan nets at Lord's in 1962 © PA Photos
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1934
The Little Master is born. Hanif Mohammad firmly believed in occupation of the crease. He spent over 16 hours compiling his famous 337 in Bridgetown in 1957-58 to save a Test in which Pakistan had followed on 473 behind - and his innings of 499 for Karachi v Bahawalpur in Karachi in 1958-59, the first-class record until Brian Lara's 501 in 1994, would have been even higher if he hadn't been run out going for the 500th. According to the Wisden Almanack, "the scoreboard scarcely moved" during the last of Hanif's 12 Test hundreds, at Lord's in 1967 - but he frustrated the England bowlers to the tune of 187 not out. He played Test cricket alongside his brothers Wazir, Mushtaq and Sadiq (his last Test was Sadiq's first).

1936
Shock horror. Don Bradman makes two Test ducks in a row. In his first series as captain, the Don lost the first two Tests, including this one in Sydney, before winning the next three by sheer weight of runs.

1990
The Waugh brothers completed a then world-record unbroken stand of 464 for New South Wales v Western Australia in Perth. Mark scored 229, Steve 216, both not out. Like good twins, they hit 19 fours each.

1945
Birth of one of the most naturally talented batsmen of the post-war era. Although he never made a Test century on any of his four visits to England, Doug Walters was infinitely more successful elsewhere, scoring fast enough to give his bowlers more time to bowl the opposition out. In the Perth Test of 1974-75 he famously brought up his hundred with a six off Bob Willis off the last ball of the day. Against West Indies in Sydney in 1968-69, he became the first batsman to score a hundred and a double-century in the same Test, and four of his 15 Test hundreds were made against England at home.

1933
One of the best West Indian wicketkeepers was born. Jackie Hendriks' Test batting average was a moderate 18.62, but he had an expert touch with the gloves. Even so, he was probably best remembered for a ball that hospitalised him: he needed brain surgery after being hit by Australia's Graham McKenzie in Bridgetown in 1964-65. He recovered to become a respected manager of West Indies touring teams.

1977
A Packer-decimated Australian side completed a two-wicket win over India in the second Test in Perth, thanks largely to 105 in three hours from hometown legspinner Tony Mann. He had been wretched with the ball (he took 0 for 112 off his 19 overs), but became the second night-watchman to score a Test hundred as Australia, set 339 to win, squeezed home with 22 balls to spare. Mann only played four Tests, all in this series, taking four wickets at 79.00 and scoring 189 runs at 23.62.

1959
Flamboyant Indian opener Kris Srikkanth is born. Whenever he batted, something had to give: either the opposing bowlers or his captain's nerves. Seen as an attacking foil to Sunil Gavaskar, he was expected to average more than 29.88 in Tests, but he made the top score in the final, when India surprisingly won the 1983 World Cup. He captained India on the 1989 tour of Pakistan, impressively drawing all the Tests, but was criticised for his batting failures. He quit the game at 33, and at the time he had scored more runs and more centuries in ODIs than any other Indian cricketer. In 2008 he became the chairman of India's first paid selection panel.

1977
West Indies medium-pacer Corey Collymore, born today, has a run-up reminiscent of Malcolm Marshall. Collymore made his one-day and Test debuts in 1999 but ordinary returns and a back injury forced him out of the side. He returned to the ODI squad in 2001 and took a career-best 5 for 51 against Sri Lanka in Colombo. In 2003 against Sri Lanka at home, he took 14 wickets in two Tests, including 9 for 85 in Kingston. But his inability to generate pace meant he couldn't cement his place in the side. He was picked for the 2007 World Cup based on a six-for against Jamaica in a domestic match, and took a disappointing six wickets from seven matches in the tournament.

Other birthdays
1976 Gayan Wijekoon (Sri Lanka)
1977 Nolu Ndzundzu (South Africa)
1981 Sajid Mahmood (England)

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