The second tied Test
The second tied Test came to a conclusion in Madras when Greg Matthews trapped Maninder Singh with the penultimate delivery of the match. The last day had begun with Allan Border declaring and setting India 348 to win in a minimum of 87 overs. It looked on at tea, when India were 190 for 2, and even more so at 330 for 6, with just 18 needed from five overs. But Ray Bright struck twice in the next over and suddenly all four results were possible. Shivlal Yadav thrashed Matthews for a six before being bowled by Bright: 344 for 9, four needed, eight balls remaining. Maninder Singh, a No. 11 from the Phil Tufnell school, played out Bright's over, leaving Ravi Shastri on strike for the final over. Shastri took two from the second ball and calmly, fecklessly stroked a single off the third. It meant India could not lose, but it also meant that Matthews had three strikes at the hapless Maninder. He needed only two.
Martin Crowe, born today, was an imperious strokeplayer, who at his best had the ability to render any bowling attack totally impotent. His second Test hundred was a majestic 188 against Holding, Garner and Marshall in Guyana in 1984-85, while his highest score was also his country's highest, 299 against Sri Lanka in 1990-91, during which he added 467 with Andrew Jones, then a record for the third wicket in first-class cricket. But ironically for a man of such class and grace, Crowe's finest hour came in pyjamas. He was voted Man of the 1992 World Cup after his brilliant batting (456 runs at 114) and innovative captaincy - Mark Greatbatch pinch-hitting; Dipak Patel taking the new ball - helped a modest New Zealand side reach the semi-finals. In Durban in 1994-95, Crowe went past John Wright as New Zealand's top Test run scorer, but by then a chronic knee problem was taking its toll and he retired during the 1995-96 tour of India. He died in 2016, following a recurrence of the cancer he had first been diagnosed with in 2012.
Birth of Thilan Samaraweera, who despite a successful Test career will perhaps always be remembered for taking a bullet in the leg during the Lahore terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009. Having made his ODI debut in 1998, Samaraweera transformed himself from an offspinner struggling in the shadow of Muttiah Muralitharan into one of Sri Lanka's most dependable Test batters. The road was hard, but in 2008, Samaraweera stamped his place after averaging 72.75 in six matches. He began 2009 in the same vein, with two double-centuries in Pakistan, and scored back-to-back hundreds against New Zealand at home later in the year.
The first Test between Zimbabwe and New Zealand, in Harare, ended in a draw after a thrilling last day's play. Chasing an unlikely 403 to win, New Zealand closed on 304 for 8. They owed most to Chris Cairns, who denied his basic instincts to make an unbeaten 71 off 238 balls and shepherd New Zealand to safety. The Man of the Match was Grant Flower, whose knocks of 104 and 151 were the first instance of a Zimbabwean making two hundreds in a Test.
Birth of a dual international. Ed Joyce made his international debut for England against the country of his birth, Ireland, in 2006. He had helped Ireland qualify for the 2007 World Cup, but once he became eligible for England, he made the switch for the sake of his international career, hoping to play Test cricket. He made a mark with a century in an ODI at the SCG in 2006-07 but was dropped after the World Cup a few months later. When he realised that a Test career with England had eluded him, he returned to Ireland and was granted special dispensation by the ICC to represent his country of birth ahead of the 2011 World Cup. Seven years later Joyce lived his dream to play Test cricket, when Ireland played their first Test, against Pakistan, in Dublin. He retired from professional cricket immediately after.
The birth of a man who made his debut in the first Ashes Test of 1986-87. A lively left-arm seamer from Perth, Chris Matthews performed creditably in that Brisbane match but he was dropped after the next Test as the Australian selectors, shocked by the unexpected competence of England's batting line-up, turned first to spin (Peter Sleep) and then raw pace (Craig McDermott). Matthews returned for the first Test against West Indies in 1988-89, but his wicketless contribution to a nine-wicket, three-day defeat was his last at the highest level.
Zimbabwe's last Test before they voluntarily withdrew from the format was memorable only because they broke their run of innings defeats. They lost by ten wickets instead. Irfan Pathan, the Indian left-arm swing bowler, took a career-best 12 for 126 and India won inside three days. It was the last time Heath Streak played for Zimbabwe.
One of international cricket's less successful performers was born. In his first four one-day internationals, Kenyan seamer Lameck Onyango took one wicket for 130, all the while conceding runs at the startling rate of 9.62 per over. A bizarre metamorphosis then occurred, for come the ICC Trophy in 1997, Onyango had been assigned a new role: specialist tailender. He played in four matches and did not bowl in any of them, batting down the order except for one game in which he was promoted to No. 2. Not quite mastering the art of pinch-hitting, he compiled a boundary-less 25-ball 13.
An attacking batter who made his only two Test appearances in India's first two Tests, Sorabji Colah was born on this day. Scores of 22, 4, 31 and 12 were not enough to cement a place, but though he would not play another Test, Colah continued to excel for Western India, Nawanagar and Bombay, making over 3500 first-class runs between 1922 and 1942.