April 21 down the years

'Is that you, John Wayne?'

Amby and Tugga go head to head

When Steve Waugh stared fury in the eye © Getty Images

A memorable duel between Curtly Ambrose and Steve Waugh, as West Indies took control of the third Test in Trinidad. On a brutal, moist pitch, Waugh made an outstanding 63 not out - the only fifty of the match - as Australia were cleaned up for 128. At one point Ambrose eyeballed Waugh, who, according to Wisden, "stood his ground like John Wayne" and asked him what he was looking at, though in less polite terms. Ambrose was furious, and had to be dragged away by his captain, Richie Richardson. West Indies and Ambrose (9 for 65 in the match) won the battle with a three-day, nine-wicket victory, but the war went to Steve and the Aussies: his magnificent 200 underpinned their innings victory in the winner-takes-all clash in Jamaica that followed.

A cricketer-turned-umpire is born. Srinivas Venkataraghavan - or Venkat - was one of India's finest offspinners. He played 57 Tests between 1964-65 and 1983-84, and was renowned for his unflinching accuracy and briskish delivery, although he lacked the mischief and penetration of his offspinning rival Erapalli Prasanna. His one ten-wicket haul came in only his fourth Test, 12 for 152 to win the match and the series against New Zealand in Delhi in 1964-65. He captained India - most notably on their tour of England in 1979 - and upon retirement became coach and manager of his country before turning successfully to umpiring. Venkat officiated in 73 Tests and 52 ODIs before retiring.

Allan Watkins, who was born today, was a key member of Glamorgan's first Championship-winning side, in 1948, and in the same summer he became their first player to appear in an Ashes Test. He was a genuine allrounder at county level, but in his Test career the popular Watkins delivered only as a batter, even though he opened the bowling on his debut. Thirteen of his 15 caps came against India and South Africa, and both his centuries came overseas against them: 111 in Johannesburg in 1948-49, and 137 not out in Delhi three years later. Watkins was an asthma sufferer, and doctors eventually advised him to give up first-class cricket.

Given that he is regarded as one of the four great allrounders of the 1980s, it's a bit of a surprise that Richard Hadlee made only two Test hundreds. His highest was a spanking 151 not out on this day, against a modest Sri Lankan attack in Colombo. In a match notable only for the funereal tempo - Brendon Kuruppu crawled to the slowest double-hundred in first-class history on the first three days - Hadlee's 240-ball innings livened things up a bit at the finish, and it was also New Zealand's 100th Test century. He added 246 for the sixth wicket with his captain, Jeff Crowe, then a national record.

Birth of Shabbir Ahmed, another in Pakistan's assembly line of talented fast bowlers. His 6ft 5in frame and a high-arm action allowed him to generate disconcerting bounce, and international teams found him a handful: he took a five-for in his debut Test, against Bangladesh, and then repeated the performance against a more competent team, New Zealand, in Hamilton in 2003-04. The problem for him was his dodgy action: he was reported after his first ODI, and then again in New Zealand. Sessions with Daryl Foster allowed him to return with a remodelled action. He joined the ICL in 2007 but returned to the official fold in 2009, though he never made it back to the national team.

Zimbabwe's domestic competition isn't usually much to write home about, but the final of the Lonrho Logan Cup that ended in Bulawayo on this day, with Matabeleland beating Mashonaland by six wickets, was utterly extraordinary for the performance of occasional Test wicketkeeper Wayne James. He made nine dismissals in the first innings - equalling the world record - and added four in the second (his 13 broke the then-world record too). Not content with that, he cracked 99 in the first innings, and was stranded on 99 not out in the second. To top it all, the winning runs were four byes.

John Goddard, born today, captained West Indies in 22 of his 27 Tests between 1948 and 1957. He was a fine all-round cricketer - left-hand bat, offspinner and excellent fielder, especially close to the bat. He led the side to a memorable maiden series win in England in 1950, coming back after losing the first Test. He also captained them to a 1-0 win in India in 1948-49. Goddard stepped down as captain for the final Test in Australia in 1951-52, saying his form was a handicap. West Indies lost the Test and he returned to lead the team in New Zealand. In 1957 he led the side again in England, and though they lost 0-3, his 40-ball 0 not out at Edgbaston and his 61 in three hours 40 minutes at Trent Bridge, helped them avoid a series whitewash.

Sri Lankan left-hand opener Dimuth Karunaratne, born today, started his Test career against New Zealand in Galle in 2012 with a duck, but followed it with a second-innings unbeaten 60. In December 2014 he scored a resolute 152 against the same opposition over eight hours when Sri Lanka followed on in Christchurch. But that maiden Test hundred came in defeat, as did his second - a patient 136 against Pakistan in Pallekele in July 2015. It was third time lucky for Karunaratne, when, a few months later, his 186 gave Sri Lanka an innings win over West Indies in Galle. Perhaps his finest moment came in Dubai in 2017, when his first-innings 196 helped Sri Lanka to a series win against Pakistan, who had had close to a decade of being unbeaten in the UAE at that point. Karunaratne was appointed Sri Lanka's captain in 2019, and he found success right away with a historic Test series win in South Africa. Against New Zealand in August that year, he became only the fourth Sri Lanka batter to score a fourth-innings hundred in a win.

Other birthdays
1934 Martin Horton (England)
1980 Gordon Drummond (Scotland)