July 26 down the years

Immovable object, irresistible force

Athers and White Lightning face off

Allan Donald gave it everything but England and Atherton won Clive Mason / © Getty Images

Mike Atherton v Allan Donald. At Trent Bridge, a heavyweight contest to match any seen in the Test arena for 25 years, and one that Atherton won... just. Donald bowled a brutal, unrelenting spell from around the wicket, and should have had Atherton given caught behind off the glove when he had made 27. Soon after, Mark Boucher dropped Nasser Hussain, and Donald was apoplectic. He took all of his rage out on Atherton in a colossal struggle, but he couldn't break Atherton's will, and a day later England had squared the series, with Athers still there on 98 not out. In Wisden Cricket Monthly, Scyld Berry wrote that, "Iron Mike had turned into Steel."

Another series-levelling win for England - and another umpiring controversy. At Headingley, Pakistan were furious when Graham Gooch was given not out, despite being a long way short of his crease on a run-out appeal. Gooch went on to make 37, and the eventual scoreline - 99 for 4 - suggests a comfortable win, but it was anything but. It was a blistering, snarling match, notable for Neil Mallender's eight wickets on debut, Saleem Malik's majestic, not-out innings of 82 and 84, and an astonishing England collapse. In the first innings they were 292 for 2... and all out for 320 as Waqar Younis reverse-swung it all over the place. The last six batters managed only two runs between them.

A year later and English cricket had hit rock bottom. Australia regained the Ashes with an innings victory at Headingley - and for the second time in the series, they had won a match in which they lost only four wickets. Allan Border's unbeaten 200 took the Aussies to 653 for 4, and then England were washed away, with Paul Reiffel taking eight wickets. Graham Gooch resigned after the match, with Mike Atherton, just 25 years old, his replacement.

Birth of Tom Garrett. He played in 19 Tests for Australia, including the very first, against England in 1876-77, when he chipped in with bat and ball. The youngest player in that match, at only 18, he was also its last survivor, dying in 1943, shortly after his 85th birthday.

The last day as an international umpire for Frank Chester. He first officiated as a 29-year-old at Lord's in 1924, and continued into his 61st year. The Test between England and South Africa at Headingley was his 48th, a world record before the arrival of Dickie Bird.

Allrounder GS Ramchand was born. In 33 Tests for India, he took 41 wickets and hit two centuries, including 109 against Australia in 1956-57.

Khaled Mahmud, born today, played 12 Tests and 77 ODIs for Bangladesh. He took three wickets in his side's memorable win over Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup - a result that helped Bangladesh helped gain Test status - and was made captain after the side's poor 2003 World Cup. But leadership duties didn't improve his bowling average and he decided to retire after a tough series against England in late 2003 - a decision he later reversed. He finally quit the game in 2006 after top-scoring for Bangladesh in an ODI against Sri Lanka.

Other birthdays
1888 Reginald Hands (South Africa)
1970 Phil Alley (Australia)