Fozzie the fast
A metallic fast bowler makes his entrance. Back and knee injuries plagued the career of Essex seam bowler Neil Foster, who was born today, so much that the plates in his body once apparently set off an airport metal detector. In all, he had as many as nine knee operations, and the problems jinxed a fine career. Fozzie had a beautiful, upright action, which generated prolific outswing and seam movement both ways. And he had the priceless ability to dismiss good batsmen: he is the only man to snare both Javed Miandad and Viv Richards for 0 in Tests.
When he sits back to chew on a modest Test average of 31, Graeme Hick will look back at one moment in particular as tantalising proof of what might have been. On this day in Taunton he completed his remarkable 405 not out for Worcestershire against Somerset, an innings that included 35 fours and 11 sixes. It was the highest score in first-class cricket in England for 93 years (since Archie MacLaren hit 424 for Lancashire, also in Taunton) and a measure of the innings is that in the whole match nobody else got more than 56. Hick might well have beaten the first-class record of the time, Hanif Mohammad's 499, but his captain, Phil Neale, was more concerned with winning the game, which Worcester did.
A remarkable - and possibly unique - record by the wonderfully named Jennings Tune. Playing for Cliffe against Eastrington in Yorkshire's Howden and District League, Tune achieved near perfection with figures of 10 for 0, and all ten victims were clean-bowled. Seventeen-year-old Alex Kelly repeated the feat in 1994 for Bishop Auckland against Newton Aycliffe in the Durham County Junior League. Here's a list of bowlers who have taken all ten for no runs.
Australia's highest opening partnership. Given West Indies' history of new-ball devastation, it's slightly strange that they have been on the wrong end of two of the five highest opening partnerships in Test history. One of those was on this day in Barbados, as Bill Lawry and Bob Simpson became the first opening pair to both score double-centuries in the same innings of a Test. In all, they added 382, but it wasn't enough for victory: Seymour Nurse made a double-century of his own for West Indies as the match drifted towards a draw.
As he punished county attacks with a series of swashbuckling innings for Derbyshire and Sussex, Chris Adams, who was born today, looked tailor-made to be the middle-order enforcer England were lacking. But a series in South Africa was an unforgiving baptism - though he got to play all five Tests, he managed a top score of 25, and those were his only Tests. Adams led Sussex to their first County Championship win in 2003, and was rewarded by being named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year for 2004. He went on to be an articulate TV pundit.
Birth of Andy Roberts. Not the Andy Roberts, but the New Zealand allrounder who played seven Tests in the mid-1970s. His Test career never really got going, although he did crack an impressive unbeaten 84 against India in Kanpur in 1976-77. He died in Wellington in 1989, aged only 42.