The greatest white-ball match of all time
Move over Edgbaston 1999 (and 2005), Jo'burg 434, and the two tied Tests - the 2019 World Cup final has all of you beat. This humdinger of a game that no one deserved to lose, and no one did, was tied at the end of the 50th, and so was the Super Over that followed. England lifted the trophy because they hit more boundaries in the game - a cruel final twist of the knife in the side of New Zealand, who were also ruled to have conceded six runs off one ball after a throw from the deep hit Ben Stokes' bat when he dived for his crease to complete a second run in the last over and went for four. New Zealand played out of their skins, but so did England. Stokes in particular, who kept them in the hunt at the end of his unbeaten 84, and then, all but spent, came out to bat in the Super Over and scored nine off the first four balls. For New Zealand, Martin Guptill, who had had a poor run with the bat at the World Cup, turned out in the Super Over alongside Jimmy Neesham, and ended up falling short of the crease as New Zealand scrambled desperately for the run that would give them their first World Cup trophy. Spare a thought for Trent Boult, who bowled the final over of the innings, clinically effecting two run-outs off the last two balls of it, and the Super Over, and took a catch on the boundary in the 50th over that nearly sealed the deal for New Zealand... before he stepped on the rope. For Neesham, who took three wickets, and came back at the end to wrest 14 runs off the first five balls of the Super Over. And for 24-year-old Jofra Archer, who had not qualified to play for England till about four months previously, and then ended up bowling the Super Over, winning England their first World Cup title in 44 years of trying.
The end of a nail-biting Ashes Test at Trent Bridge. Chasing 311, Australia were tottering at 231 for 9 when James Pattinson joined Brad Haddin to defy England's bowlers. The two shared a thrilling 65-run stand before James Anderson's tenth wicket of the match - an thin edge to the keeper that was denied by the on-field umpire and overturned after a DRS review - helped England win by 14 runs. Earlier in the game, 19-year-old Ashton Agar had made a swashbuckling 98 on debut in the first innings - the highest score by a No. 11 in Tests.
At Headingley, the beginning of a swift and famous one-handed demolition job. With his left thumb in plaster, and having been advised not to play cricket for ten days, Malcolm Marshall came in at No. 11 to shepherd Larry Gomes to a century - he even swished one to third man for four - and then shattered England's second innings. Marshall took 7 for 53, operating off a shorter run-up, as England subsided from 104 for 2 to 159 all out. Wisden Cricket Monthly described his performance as: "Fairytale or nightmare, take your choice." For England, the nightmare was just beginning - they were two Tests away from being blackwashed for the first time.
A nuggety left-hander is born. Hashan Tillakaratne's career at the highest level looked to be over until he was recalled to the Sri Lankan side in 2001-02. Then came the purplest of patches. In five Tests against India, Bangladesh and West Indies, he made 549 runs and was dismissed only once. An accumulator who acted as a complement to the likes of Aravinda de Silva and Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne could be very hard to shift when set - almost a fifth of his Test innings were not out. He was surprisingly handed the captaincy of the Test side after Sanath Jayasuriya stepped down, but his ten-match tenure produced just one win, and his leadership style was criticised for being too defensive. Following a 0-3 series whitewash against Australia he stepped down in March 2004; he wasn't picked for the subsequent tour of Zimbabwe.
Shahid Afridi's 7 for 12 in a huge win over West Indies in Georgetown were the second-best figures in ODIs, after Chaminda Vaas' 8 for 19 in 2001. And that was after he made 76 off 55 balls, leaving West Indies 225 to chase. They were three down in a hurry, and Afridi entered the attack after the 20th over to deliver the coup de grace, taking his first two wickets off consecutive balls, and eventually sending them reeling from 41 for 3 to 98 all out in 19 overs.
Sri Lanka's spinners trussed South Africa up for 73, their lowest total since readmission, on the way to a three-day win in Galle. Dimuth Karunaratne starred in the first innings with 168, and Dilruwan Perera in the fourth with a six-for.
Birth of the first Papua New Guinean-born Welshman to keep wicket for England. Geraint Jones learnt his game while training as a pharmacist in Australia, and didn't come to the attention of the England selectors until he had turned 27. But with England still floundering for a successor to the stalwart Alec Stewart, Jones' breezy counterattacking style ticked all the right boxes with the coach, Duncan Fletcher, who backed him through thick and often thin from the moment he made his debut in Antigua in April 2004. His reward was the tumbling catch that sealed a famous two-run win at Edgbaston in August 2005, which ignited the greatest Ashes series of them all.
The slowest torture for Essex in Leyton, as Yorkshire's Hedley Verity skittled them for 104 and 64 - in the same day. Verity took 8 for 47 and 9 for 44, and even though he took 15 wickets five times in his career, he never bettered his 17 for 91 here. The only man to reach 20 for Essex was Dudley Pope. He made 34 in the first innings - and was run out.
A remarkable day in Leicester, where 633 runs were scored on the second day of Leicestershire's game against Middlesex. Middlesex captain Bill Edrich led the way with a career-best 257, Denis Compton chipped in with 151 - the pair adding 277 in 131 minutes - as Middlesex declared on 637 for 4. Leicestershire closed on 130 for 2. Middlesex won the match with four minutes to spare, smacking 66 in 21 minutes.
West Indies sealed an emphatic 2-0 win over Bangladesh, beating them by 166 runs in three days in Kingston, to follow up on the hammering they handed out in the first Test, where Bangladesh were dismissed for 43 in their first innings. West Indies captain Jason Holder led from the front, with 11 wickets in the match (to add to his five from North Sound). It was his team's first series win at home in four years.
Ian Bell became the seventh batsman to be dismissed for 199 on this day. And to make things worse, despite his mammoth score, England couldn't win this Lord's Test against South Africa. After declaring at 593 for 8 (Kevin Pietersen got 152 and Stuart Broad 76 from No. 8), England bowled South Africa out for 247. Ashwell Prince, who got a hundred, was the only batsman to score over 42. South Africa fought back somewhat more tenaciously in their follow-on, though. Graeme Smith, Neil McKenzie and Hashim Amla made hundreds to save the game. They won the next two Tests to take the series 2-1.
Birth of a teenage one-cap wonder. Khalid Hasan was only 16 years 352 days old when he lined up for Pakistan against England at Trent Bridge in 1954. Four days later his Test career was over, after 17 runs, 2 for 116, and an innings defeat. One of his wickets was Denis Compton - bowled for 278. In all, Hasan played only 17 first-class matches, the last of them at the age of 21.
A two-Test wonder is born. New Zealand batsman Peter Webb didn't have the best career - 11 runs (off 86 balls) at an average of 3.66 - but he picked a decent pair of Tests to appear in. In Dunedin in 1979-80, the Kiwis beat West Indies by one wicket, and in an ill-tempered second Test in Christchurch, Colin Croft had an infamous run-in with the umpire Fred Goodall. Webb was dropped for the last Test, but New Zealand drew the match and took the series. They were the last side to beat West Indies for 15 years.
An all-run 10. Lancashire's Albert "Monkey" Hornby made 20 of his side's total of 100 against Surrey at The Oval - and half of his runs came in one fell swoop.