March 8 down the years

A Kiwi star

Ross Taylor is born

Ross Taylor also captained New Zealand for a brief period © Getty Images

The birth of one of New Zealand's finest: aggressive top-order player Ross Taylor, a batsman with a marked fondness for the on side. In only his third ODI, Taylor hammered a superb 128 against Sri Lanka in Napier. In 2008 he scored his maiden Test hundred, against England in Hamilton, and followed it up with an unbeaten 154 at Old Trafford. Taylor's solidity prompted the selectors to name him captain in 2010, when Daniel Vettori chose to step down. New Zealand beat Australia in Hobart and Sri Lanka in Colombo - for the first time in the country since 1998 - under him, but Taylor won't remember his stint with a lot of joy. After the Colombo win, he stepped down from captaincy under controversial circumstances, declining an offer to stay on as Test captain in a split-leadership scenario. He also took a break from cricket, but returned in 2013 with renewed vigour. He scored 754 runs between May and December 2013, including his maiden double-hundred, which was immediately followed by two more centuries. His highest Test score, 290 at the WACA in 2015, was also the best by an overseas batsman in Australia. A benign growth in his eye troubled him soon after that innings, but after surgery in December 2016, he went on to equal the New Zealand record for most centuries, held by Martin Crowe and Kane Williamson.

An England spinner is born - in Zambia. Phil Edmonds formed the ultimate chalk-and-cheese spin double act with John Emburey for county (Middlesex) and country: one was born and raised for a time in Lusaka by his English father and Belgian mother, the other in Peckham; one was called Philippe-Henri, the other John Ernest; one was erudite, educated at Cambridge, the other earthy and full of expletives. Edmonds had a dream start to his Test career - 5 for 28 against Australia at Headingley in 1975 - but after two five-fors in his first four Tests, he managed none in 47 thereafter. Edmonds was more like a quick bowler in nature, but he had a textbook action for a slow left-armer. He'd probably have played more than 51 Tests were he not so outspoken, but in the end he retired in 1987, although he made a brief comeback for Middlesex in 1992, when he took 4 for 48 at Trent Bridge and could hardly walk for a week afterwards.

Birth of Harmanpreet Kaur, whose unbeaten 171 off 115 balls in the 2017 World Cup semi-final was a defining moment for the women's game. A year later, she scored the first T20I hundred by an Indian woman - a typical hard-hitting innings, off 49 balls - at the World T20. An aggressive middle-order batsman, Harmanpreet made her international debut in an ODI against Pakistan, a day short of her 20th birthday. Her rise to senior-player status was swift. She became India's T20I captain in 2016, having stood in for Mithali Raj as early as 2012. Harmanpreet continued to enhance her reputation as a reliable power-hitter, and in 2016 became the first female Indian cricketer to be signed in an overseas T20 league when Sydney Thunder acquired her for the Women's Big Bash at the end of the year.

The Healy and Mooney show at the MCG put pop star Katy Perry in the shade at the Women's T20 World Cup final, where 86,174 fans showed up to watch Australia trounce India. Meg Lanning's Australians won the toss and their two openers laid the foundation with a 115-run partnership, helped in no small part by two dropped catches early in the innings. Healy's 30-ball fifty was the fastest by any player in an ICC limited-overs final, and an unbeaten 78 by Mooney took Australia to a formidable 184. India looked nowhere near achieving that after star batter Shefali Verma edged behind for 2 in the first over, Taniya Bhatia retired hurt after catching one in the grille, and the top five folded for 30. A late surge by Deepti Sharma briefly buoyed the tail, but Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen ran through the rest to take Australia to their fifth T20 World Cup title.

A new nadir for a desperate West Indies side - their lowest Test score until it was eclipsed in 2004. Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie bowled unchanged in Trinidad to skittle them for a miserable 51, giving Australia victory by the little matter of 312 runs. Between 1963 and 1969, West Indies were only once bowled out in double figures; this was the first of five times it happened in 18 months, including twice against England, at Lord's and Headingley in 2000. After this one, an Aussie whitewash looked a banker. Enter Brian Lara, who hit centuries of jaw-dropping brilliance in each of the remaining three Tests to give West Indies a share of a classic series.

A legend is born. Jonty Rhodes was quickly earning a reputation as a top-notch fielder, but on this day he confirmed his status among the world's best, and most spectacular, with a flying run-out of Inzamam-ul-Haq in the World Cup match in Brisbane. As Inzamam lumbered towards safety Rhodes charged in from point and dived full-length with ball in hand to shatter the stumps. It turned the game, and with Pakistan losing again - they had beaten only Zimbabwe in their first five games - Imran's tigers were boxed firmly into a corner.

On the same day, in the same tournament, the last game of the late, great Malcolm Marshall's international career. Though he was only 33, Macko's star was fading, and after four wickets in ten games, the match against New Zealand in Auckland was his last. New Zealand won it comfortably, with Mark Greatbatch launching one of his trademark assaults.

West Indies posted the lowest T20I total by a Full Member team, and the second lowest overall, when they were bowled out for 45 by England in St Kitts. Chasing 183, they collapsed to 14 for 4 in the fourth over after Chris Jordan removed Dwayne Bravo and Jason Holder off successive balls. He then dismissed Nicholas Pooran and Fabian Allen in his next over and finished with remarkable figures of 4 for 6 in two overs.

Jack Hobbs scored 142 on the first day of the fifth Test between England and Australia in Melbourne. At 46 years and 82 days, he became the oldest man to score a Test hundred, a record unlikely ever to be broken. England lost the match by five wickets but won the series 4-1, Hobbs scoring 451 runs at 50.11.

Birth of the first South African quick bowler to take 100 Test wickets. Unlike Mike Procter, the Pollocks and Allan Donald, Neil Adcock did not have the benefit of world-class support, but he still managed 104 wickets at an average of only 21. He used his height to make the ball lift alarmingly off a length. In England in 1960, he was a revelation, brushing off the controversy surrounding his new-ball partner Geoff Griffin - who was no-balled for throwing - to take 26 wickets in the Tests, even though South Africa lost the series 0-3. On the whole tour, he took 108 wickets at an average of 14, and was named as one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 1961 as a result.

A red-letter day for New Zealand opener Bryan Young, who smacked an unbeaten 267 against Sri Lanka in Dunedin. This innings was one of only two Test hundreds Young made, and it led New Zealand to 586 for 7 declared, a position from which they romped to an innings victory.

Don Bradman's final first-class match was an anti-climax. He scored 30 in the first innings and was absent hurt in the second, and Victoria beat South Australia by 271 runs. It was a good game for Sam Loxton, who scored 135 for Victoria, and for South Australia's opening bowlers Kevin O'Neill and Geff Noblet, who took seven and six wickets respectively.

Birth of one of Ireland's finest cricketers. Not Martin McCague but Tom Horan, who was born in Cork and after being taken to Australia as a child, played 15 Tests for them between 1876-77 and 1884-85, two as captain. As well as being a dogged scrapper of a batsman, Horan was a handy roundarm medium-pacer and ended with 11 Test wickets at an average of 13. That was thanks mainly to the 6 for 40 he took in Australia's six-run victory over England in Sydney in 1884-85. He died in Victoria in 1916.

His reputation ended in tatters, but it's easy to forget just what a terrific captain Hansie Cronje was before he was seduced by the lure of the lucre. Today it was New Zealand who gave in to temptation after Cronje's brave declaration left them needing 275 off 63 overs to win the one-off Centenary Test in Auckland. They went for it, but Cronje's men pulled off a tremendous victory with 43 balls to spare.

Birth of Charles Coventry, who equalled Saeed Anwar's then-one-day record score of 194, against Bangladesh in 2009. Before that effort, he had only scored 301 runs in 14 ODIs, and after it he managed only one half-century in 22 matches. After appearing in the 2011 World Cup, Coventry made a brief return to the side in 2015 for Zimbabwe's tour of Pakistan.

England had regained the Ashes but Australia won the dead rubber at the MCG by 218 runs. Victor Trumper made 88 as Australia took advantage of batting first before the weather affected the pitch. Legspinner Len Braund took a career-best 8 for 81, and Australia scored 247, after which Monty Noble and Tibby Cotter bowled England out for 61 on a pitch increasingly difficult to bat on and set them a target of 320. They didn't get close: Hugh Trumble took 7 for 28 as England were bowled out for 101.

Everyone knows about Lillee c Willey b Dilley, but in a Sheffield Shield match in Perth today, Dennis Lillee was out caught... by Dennis John Lillie. Dennis Lillie, Queensland's 12th man in this one, was a legspinner with a first-class bowling average of 51. His victim, Dennis Keith Lillee, did slightly better.

Offspinner Mohammad Nazir, born today, took his best figures - 7 for 99 - on debut against New Zealand in Karachi in 1969-70 but was inconsistent after that. In 1979-80, after he took 16 wickets in four Tests against West Indies, including 8 for 120 in Faisalabad, he was brought back for the series against India in 1983-84. He failed to take a wicket in the first two Tests but grabbed 7 for 122 in the last match. After retirement he became an international umpire.

Other birthdays
1945 Graeme Watson (Australia)
1957 Ervin McSweeney (New Zealand)
1961 Kevin Arnott (Zimbabwe)
1963 Gursharan Singh (India)
1981 Rayad Emrit (West Indies)