September 26 down the years

An Aussie to the core

One of Australia's best captains is born

Ian Chappell: never afraid to hook © PA Photos

Where to start with Ian Chappell, who was born in Adelaide on this day? An Aussie to the core, Chappell was a brave, adaptable batter, good enough to make 14 hundreds in 75 Tests, and an excellent slip fielder, but he will be best remembered as one of his country's finest captains - Dennis Lillee rated him the best leader he played under. Chappell was at the helm in 1974-75 when Australia crushed England to regain the Ashes, and he was also in charge when Australia held on to the urn in 1975. His blunt, plain-speaking ways led to several brushes with the cricket administrators; his unhappiness with them led him to play a leading role in the setting up of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket. After his playing career, Chappell made good effect of his forthright speaking as a TV commentator in a career that spanned 45 years.

An outstanding player of quick bowling at a time when most of his countrymen played the pacemen like startled rabbits, Vijay Manjrekar, born today, was a master technician and better than his Test average of 39.12 suggests. In his first Test innings overseas, he hit a memorable 133 against Fred Trueman and Alec Bedser at Headingley in 1952. He made seven hundreds in 55 Tests, including an unbeaten 189 against England in Delhi in 1961-62. Nimble on his feet despite carrying a few surplus pounds, he also made an unbeaten 102 in his final Test innings, in 1964-65. He died at the age of 52 in Madras in 1983. His son Sanjay was an Indian regular in the 1980s and 90s.

The birth of Jonny Bairstow, the son of former England wicketkeeper David. His first series, against West Indies in 2012, wasn't a happy one for Bairstow, but he rose to the challenge with a brilliant 95 against South Africa at Lord's later that year. In 2013 he scored half-centuries at Lord's against Australia at Headingley against New Zealand. Dropped for middling scores thereafter, Bairstow fought back into the side for the 2015 Ashes on the back of a prolific season in county cricket. He started 2016 with a bang, with 150 not out in Cape Town and 140 and 167 not out against Sri Lanka at home, finishing the year with 1470 Test runs - the most by a keeper in a calendar year. In 2018, he made four hundreds in six ODI innings, including 139 in England's world-record total of 481, against Australia at Trent Bridge, and in the World Cup the following year, starred in England's World Cup-winning campaign with 532 runs. He kicked off 2022 with consecutive Test hundreds in Sydney and Antigua, and scored four more in three successive Tests at home, against New Zealand and India.

A true character was born in Manchester. Bob Barber was a fearless, attacking left-hand opener and useful legspinner who represented Lancashire, Warwickshire and England with distinction. A natural cricketer and entertainer, whom the Wisden Almanack described as "virtually uncoached", Barber had an effervescence that made him extremely popular, especially in Australia. Though from the other side of the Pennines, he was very much in the mould of Darren Gough. He averaged 35 in 28 Tests and would have played more but for business commitments. His only Test hundred was a majestic 185 in Sydney in 1965-66, which led to his being made a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1967.

A famous victory for Sri Lanka in Sialkot. They beat Pakistan by 144 runs in the third Test to seal their first victory in a three-match series overseas. It was also Pakistan's first home series defeat since 1980-81 and only the fourth instance - three of which had been in the previous year - of a side winning a three-Test rubber after losing the first match. It came after the sort of collapse that only Pakistan are capable of. They slipped to 15 for 5 chasing an unlikely 357 to win, after which, for all the admirable defiance of Moin Khan's unbeaten 117, there was only ever going to be one winner.

Ben Stokes was arrested after getting into an altercation with two men outside a nightclub in Bristol. His team-mate Alex Hales was also present during the incident and both were suspended by the ECB. Video later emerged that purported to show Stokes in a fistfight with the men. He ended up missing the Ashes series as a result, and four months later was charged with affray by the Crown Prosecution Service, but eventually found not guilty.

In 1901, South African allrounder Charles "Buck" Llewellyn, who was born today, became the first man to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets for Hampshire in an English first-class season. For good measure he repeated the feat in 1908 and 1910. Llewellyn played 15 Tests between 1896 and 1912, averaging 20 in the middle order and 29 with his left-arm spinners at a time when South Africa were largely Test cricket's whipping boys. He played a crucial role in their first Test win overseas, and their first against Australia, in Adelaide in 1910-11. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1911.

Essex won the County Championship, their eighth title, when they drew with Somerset at Taunton. The rain-soaked game lurched to life on the last day, when Essex, resuming their first innings, lost their last nine wickets for 39 runs, crashing to 141 all out against Roelof van der Merwe and Jack Leach. Then Somerset captain Tom Abell forfeited his side's second innings in desperate quest of a win, leaving Essex 63 to get in 16 overs and a bit. Whereupon Alastair Cook restored calm to proceedings with 30 not out, steering his side to the draw and the title win. It was the last first-class game for Somerset stalwart Marcus Trescothick, who fielded as a substitute for the final few overs.

A red-letter day for Indian slow left-armer Sunil Joshi, who made the most of a spinner's paradise in the LG Cup match in Nairobi to return the remarkable figures of 10-6-6-5. There were no cheap wickets here either: Joshi's famous five were Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs, Hansie Cronje, Jonty Rhodes and Shaun Pollock. With South Africa routed for 117, India won by eight wickets with over 27 overs to spare - but the South Africans would have the last laugh in the final.

One of Test cricket's less successful debutants was born. When he made his Test debut for West Indies against New Zealand in Barbados in 1995-96, Patterson Thompson had a shocker. Making Devon Malcolm look like a metronome, he bowled 22 no-balls and returned match figures of 22-1-135-4 - which flattered him. He played just one more Test, in Australia the following winter, and that was that. His Test strike rate, 45.6, would do anyone proud but his economy rate, 5.65, would make even a joke bowler blush.

Australia got out of jail in southern Sri Lanka. A tropical storm in Galle meant that only 4.2 overs were possible on the final day, and the second Test against Sri Lanka was drawn. In all, only 30.5 overs were possible on the last three days. For Australia, already one-down in the series, it was a good job too: on a raging turner Sri Lanka were in total control, 123 ahead with ten second-innings wickets intact.

A promising Zimbabwean allrounder is born. Sean Williams, a left-hand top-order batter and more than useful left-arm spinner, led the country's Under-19 side in the World Cup in Sri Lanka in February 2006. He turned down a central contract the following month, opting to look for a more settled career overseas, although he again changed his mind, returning to play for Zimbabwe three months later. He went on to feature as a regular member of the national side in Tests and the shorter forms.

Other birthdays
1947 Franklyn Dennis (Canada)
1972 Mark Haslam (New Zealand)
1981 Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka)