March 25 down the years

Imran on top of the world

Pakistan's cornered tigers maul England

Fittingly, Imran Khan took the final England wicket © Getty Images

Pakistan's finest hour, when Imran's cornered tigers savaged England under the Melbourne lights in a memorable World Cup final. Remember Graham Gooch dropping Imran Khan? Derek Pringle trapping Javed Miandad distinctly adjacent early in his vital innings? But two moments that nobody ever forgets are the successive, violently swinging deliveries from Wasim Akram to Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis, which castled them both and decided the match.

Meg Lanning, born today, isn't nicknamed "The Megastar" for nothing. She is a six-time world champion - she led Australia in five T20 World Cups, winning three, in 2014, 2018, 2020 ans 2023, and the 50-over World Cup in 2022. She was also part of the winning team in the T20 World Cup and the 50-over World Cup in 2012-13. She made her maiden hundred at age 18 in only her second international, breaking Ricky Ponting's record to become the youngest Australian centurion. And she has sent records tumbling since - first Australian to make 2000 runs in T20 internationals, the most ODI hundreds, and the then highest T20 score in women's cricket (an astonishing 133 off 63 balls, against England in 2019).

Yet more World Cup heartbreak for South Africa, who were outplayed by the other perpetual semi-finalists, New Zealand, in the quarter-final in Mirpur. South Africa had come into the tournament with the best bowling attack in the world, but it was their batting that gave way against a terrific New Zealand fielding side. Chasing 222, South Africa were bowled out for 172 - Jacob Oram took four and Nathan McCullum three. No South African batter got to a half-century. The contrast to their performance earlier in the tournament, when they played out of their skins to beat India by three wickets to top the group, was startling.

The end of Test cricket's first five-match series. It seems unthinkable now, but England went through the whole series unchanged. They won it too: 3-2 after an innings victory in the final Test at the MCG. In this match Fred Spofforth slapped the first fifty by a No. 11 in a Test and in Australian first-class cricket.

Birth of Bill Lockwood, the fast bowler who played 12 Tests for England at the turn of the 20th century. He ended with an average of 20.53, and in first-class cricket he took a wicket every 37.8 balls, or just over six overs. Lockwood had five years out of Test cricket, after almost being killed by a shark and turning to drink when his wife and one of his children died, before making a brave comeback. In 1902 he took 11 for 76 against Australia at Old Trafford - and England still lost. He died in Old Radford, near Nottingham, in 1932.

The first day of the fourth World Series Cricket SuperTest between West Indies and Australia in Georgetown was abandoned after rioting in the wake of a lengthy rain delay. The damage caused was so extensive that the match did not start until two days later, and as it was curtailed to three days a draw was almost inevitable.

The last day of Test cricket for Wally Hammond was a wet and uneventful one. It was also the first time in Test history that an extra day was added due to rain. England went to New Zealand for one Test after their unsuccessful trip to Australia, but there was more rain than play in Christchurch. Hammond scored 79 in England's only innings. Six New Zealand players, including Bert Sutcliffe, who made a half-century, made their debuts in the match.

The burly Pakistani middle-order batter Haroon Rasheed, born today, could be a devastating strokemaker, but he wasn't so comfortable when the ball was jagging around. Against England in Pakistan he averaged 84.25; against England in England a mere 5.67, although he did clout one unforgettable six onto the top of the Grand Stand at Lord's in 1978. He also biffed six sixes in his 108 against England in Hyderabad in 1977-78. Pakistan won each of his last five Tests, but Haroon was dumped after a duck - in a total of 581 for 3 - against India in Hyderabad in 1982-83.

A double dose of the nervous 99s in Karachi. Majid Khan and Mushtaq Mohammad both fell one short in the third Test between England and Pakistan. Mushtaq's misery was compounded by his being run out. It was infectious stuff: two days later Dennis Amiss was caught for 99, completing a unique Test hat-trick.

It's one of life's more peculiar statistics that Allan Border had a better bowling average against West Indies (24.32) than Ray Lindwall (27.34), Dennis Lillee (27.75) or Keith Miller (25.98). Everyone knows about his 11-for in Sydney in 1988-89, but on this day in Guyana, Border took 4 for 0 in nine balls. However, Border's burst only came after Des Haynes and Richie Richardson had given the proper bowlers a fearsome buffeting. Greg Matthews had figures of 37.5-6-155-3. Fairly ordinary in this helter-skelter day and age, but back then it was a real pasting.

A strange kind of one-cap wonderdom. South African left-arm slow-medium bowler Gobo Ashley took 7 for 95 against England in Cape Town - but his side lost by an innings and 202 runs, and he never played again.

A draw with Western Australia in the Sheffield final gave New South Wales their first domestic title since 2008. Moises Henriques, who had earlier declared this match to be the most important of his career, rescued their batting with an assured 140 in the first innings, after which right-arm fast bowler Josh Hazlewood knocked over a tired WA for 180. His 6 for 50 were his best figures in first-class cricket.

Other birthdays
1830 Julius Caesar (England)
1870 Rockley Wilson (England)
1888 Morice Bird (England)
1944 Ross Duncan (Australia)
1958 Yograj Singh (India)
1969 Elise Reynolds (Netherlands)
1971 Aashish Kapoor (India)
1972 Bryce McGain (Australia)
1973 Losi Harford (New Zealand)
1977 Brooke Walker (New Zealand)
1977 Clinton Peake (Australia)
1978 Imran Abbas (Pakistan)
1981 Bazid Khan (Pakistan)
1984 Ashok Dinda (India)