August 8 down the years

Kane you feel the love tonight?

Kane Williamson is born

Kane Williamson made 89 and 139 in New Zealand's series-winning Test over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in December 2018 © Associated Press

1990
Birth of talented New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, who made a century on Test debut in Ahmedabad in 2010. Two years on, he made a match-saving hundred against a strong South African attack, this time batting five and a half hours for an unbeaten 102. Then he racked up 413 runs in three Tests against West Indies in 2014, including a second-innings 161 in Providence that helped his side secure a rare away series win. Later that year he made 192 in a 297-run stand with Brendon McCullum that helped square a series against Pakistan. And three innings later he made a career-best 242 not out and added a record 365 runs with BJ Watling for the sixth wicket, against Sri Lanka in Wellington. In 2016, Williamson took over the New Zealand captaincy after Brendon McCullum retired. Between March 2017 and March 2019, in 14 Tests he averaged 70, with five fifties and five hundreds, one of those centuries coming in a famous series-clinching win in Abu Dhabi. Williamson was also masterful in the 2019 World Cup, leading an inspiring campaign that fell short after New Zealand tied the final (and the Super Over that followed it) with England but lost on boundary count.

2015
England regained the Ashes with an innings-and-78-run win at Trent Bridge in just over two days, marking a unbelievable turnaround after they were drubbed 5-0 in Australia in 2013-14. The match was all but won in the opening session on day one when Stuart Broad's 8 for 15 sent Australia crashing to 60 in 18.3 overs - the shortest first innings in Test history. Joe Root (130) and Jonny Bairstow (74) rubbed it in and England declared with a lead of 331. A two-day finish looked probable when Ben Stokes took a five-wicket haul to reduce Australia to 241 for 7 in their second innings, but England eventually wrapped it up early on the third day. It was Alastair Cook's second consecutive Ashes series win at home as captain. Australia's under-fire captain, Michael Clarke, announced that the fifth Test at The Oval would be his last international match.

1965
Birth of one of England's prime seam bowlers Angus Fraser. Even after a major hip operation had reduced his pace and hostility, he twice took eight wickets in a Test innings in the West Indies. His first Test victim was Steve Waugh, who Fraser dismissed for the first time in the 1989 series after Waugh scored 393 runs. Big Gus finished with 177 Test wickets and only injury stopped him reaching the 200 he'd set his sights on.

2019
The first T20 seven-for was taken by a part-timer - Leicestershire captain Colin Ackermann picked up scarcely believable figures of 7 for 18 with his offbreaks against a young and inexperienced Birmingham line-up at Leicester. What was even more astounding was the fact that when he came to bowl his third over, with Birmingham needing 72 to win off the final six with seven wickets in hand, Ackermann had only one wicket to his name. He took three each in his remaining overs - which included three bowleds and one caught and bowled - and Leicestershire won by 55 runs. "I'd never have believed this in a million years - I count myself as a batting allrounder," Ackermann said after the game.

2020
Fighting half-centuries by Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler took England to a thrilling three-wicket win over Pakistan at Old Trafford. Opener Shan Masood's measured 156 - his first hundred outside the subcontinent - and Yasir Shah's four-for had given Pakistan a significant first-innings lead of over 100 runs, but England dismissed them for 169 in the second. Set a target of 277 on day four, England looked in trouble at 117 for 5, having lost Dom Sibley, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope within the space of nine overs. But Buttler, struggling under pressure after a poor match behind the stumps, added 139 with Woakes to help England pull off the second-highest fourth-innings run chase at Old Trafford and break their run of five consecutive series in which they had lost the first match.

1987
At long last, Pakistan's innings of 708 at The Oval came to an end. The highest in their Test history, it made sure of a draw and a 1-0 win in the series. England were in the field for more than two days, bowling 220.3 overs, with Ian Botham taking 3 for 217.

2017
England beat South Africa by 177 runs in the fourth Test, at Old Trafford, to march to a 3-1 series win in Joe Root's first series as captain. Moeen Ali was the star of the show, scoring a crucial 75 not out in the second innings to swell South Africa's target to 380, before derailing their chase with figures of 5 for 69. He became the ninth player to score 250 runs and take 25 wickets in a Test series, and England broke a 19-year drought in home Test series against South Africa.

1988
The end of another West Indian thrashing for England. They avoided a third consecutive blackwash, but a 4-0 scoreline brooks no argument. In this final Test, at The Oval, Graham Gooch's first as captain, England took a first-innings lead after a storming display from Neil Foster, but they couldn't finish it off. It's not hard to see why - this really was a motley English crew, including Messrs Curtis, Bailey, Maynard, Capel, Richards and Childs. You don't beat Viv Richards and Co with that little lot.

1940
Birth of Dilip Sardesai, whose stubbornness served India best in the Caribbean in 1970-71, when his three Test centuries included a career-best 212 in Kingston. He averaged 80.25 as India won the series 1-0. In England in 1971, Sardesai's pivotal double of 54 and 40 allowed Bhagwath Chandrasekhar to hasten England's defeat at The Oval. Sardesai was limpet-like and usually defensive, but he could attack when he needed to, and scored one of India's fastest hundreds, against New Zealand in Delhi in 1964-65. He died in Mumbai in 2007.

1909
Birth of Bill Voce, Harold Larwood's henchman in the 1932-33 Bodyline series, and heroic mainstay of the attack in 1936-37, when he took 17 wickets in the first two Tests, before Don Bradman turned a 2-0 deficit into a unique 3-2 win. Big Bill returned to Australia in 1946-47, but he was past his best and took 0 for 161 in his final two Tests.

1889
Jack Ryder, the first batsman to score six consecutive Test fifties, was born. His unbeaten 201 against England in Adelaide in 1924-25 is one of the great knocks of all time. Australia won by just 11 runs to take a winning 3-0 lead in the series. He was the losing captain in the 1928-29 Ashes series.

1914
At the age of 66, WG Grace played his last match in club cricket, for Eltham at home to Northbrook. In an anticlimactic end for such a colossus, he didn't bat or bowl and the match ended in a draw.

1977
Pakistan's Mohammad Wasim, born today, shot to fame as a 19-year-old with 109 on debut against New Zealand in December 1997. That hundred earned him an extended run in the side, but there followed a string of low scores, punctuated by 192 against Zimbabwe in Harare. After back-to-back failures against Sri Lanka in 2000, he was dropped; his one-day career followed a similar trajectory. In 2002-03 he signed for Otago to play domestic cricket there.

1973
Birth of Shane Lee, the older brother of Brett, who made a memorable debut when he hit a 27-ball 39 in Australia's win over West Indies in an ODI in Adelaide in 1995. But he failed to live up to expectations through to the 1996 World Cup and was dropped thereafter. In 2000 he was made the New South Wales captain, but knee troubles limited his appearances throughout much of the next few seasons, and led to his early retirement in April 2003, aged 29.

Other birthdays
1951 Phil Carlson (Australia)
1952 Sudhakar Rao (India)
1964 Paul Taylor (England)
1968 Abey Kuruvilla (India)

Comments