March 27 down the years

Sachin the opener

Tendulkar moves up

Sachin Tendulkar opened in ODIs for the first time in 1994 Gerry Penny / © AFP/Getty Images

Mohammad Azharuddin's decision to make Sachin Tendulkar open in ODIs - because Navjot Sidhu, the regular opener, had a stiff neck - proved a turning point in Tendulkar's career, and India's ODI history. In his first match opening, in Auckland, Tendulkar blazed 82 off 49 balls. In 344 matches as an opener, he made 15,310 runs at 48.29 (and 45 of his 49 ODI hundreds) as compared to 3116 at 33 from 119 matches in which he batted lower down.

With Australia hanging on grimly against West Indies in Guyana - they ultimately went down by ten wickets - Dean Jones lost his stumps to a Courtney Walsh no-ball, but did not hear the call and trudged off in the knowledge that he'd failed again when it mattered. As he did so he was run out by Carl Hooper, and umpire Clyde Cumberbatch upheld the decision even though it totally contravened Law 38.2, which states that a batter can only be run out if he is attempting to run. The error soon became common knowledge, and an effigy of Cumberbatch was subjected to what Wisden Cricket Monthly described as "a macabre dance from a noose" in the stands.

One of those scintillating days when Devon Malcolm's radar was spot-on. In Trinidad he cleaned up three West Indians in four balls. It was no tail-end demolition job either: Desmond Haynes, Carlisle Best and Jeff Dujon were his victims. Malcolm took ten wickets in this match, to make it 15 in two games, and when West Indies closed this fourth day on 284 for 9 - a lead of only 145 - England were near bankers for an unbelievable 2-0 lead. Rain, and stand-in captain Haynes, would deny them.

A stone-cold Virat Kohli classic put India in the semi-final of the World T20, knocking Australia out. The Indian bowlers did well to restrict Australia to 160 after the way the openers set off. Much depended on Kohli as India's required rate increased with an injured Yuvraj Singh batting alongside him. With 47 needed off the last four overs, Australia looked the favourites, before Kohli ripped into James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile - the pair leaked a combined 35 off two overs ­- ending on 82 off 51 balls and, incredibly, getting India home with five balls to spare.

Australia's answer to WG is born. Allrounder George Giffen would fit snugly into the current thrill-a-minute world of Test cricket. He was a dashing batter and an accurate slow-medium offspinner. His sole Test century was a whopping 161 in Sydney in 1894-95, when Australia lost despite making a first-innings total of 586 and making England follow on. In first-class cricket, Giffen scored a century and took ten wickets in the same match no fewer than nine times. In 1891-92, playing for South Australia against Victoria in Adelaide, he scored 271 and took 16 wickets. He died in Adelaide in 1927, where a stand at the Oval bears his name.

A boring draw with honour for Sri Lanka, whose stalemate with Pakistan in Colombo gave them a 1-1 draw in the three-match series. Asanka Gurusinha and Arjuna Ranatunga both made centuries in an unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership of 240 - in the process becoming the first Sri Lankan pair to bat through a whole day - although Ranatunga was dropped no fewer than five times before he had reached 30. You'd have got long odds on that.

Four years earlier it was a different story. In Lahore, Imran Khan demolished Sri Lanka in Pakistan's innings victory, taking 8 for 58 and 6 for 58. His match figures are the best by a Pakistani, and the best by a seam bowler on the subcontinent. Imran also became the first Pakistani to take 150 Test wickets.

A desperate declaration from Tasmania to make up for rain delays allowed Queensland to easily win the Sheffield Shield final - their eighth title overall, but first in six years. Having conceded a first-innings lead of 39, Tasmania, in their second innings, declared the innings at 166 for 1, hoping to use the time to bowl out Queensland. But Queensland opener Matt Renshaw, the season's leading run-getter (807 at 44.66), made an unbeaten 81 off 82 to easily chase down the 128-run target and win by nine wickets.

A successful amateur is born. Vallance Jupp turned amateur after the First World War, when he won eight Test caps. He could bowl fast-medium or offspin, and he ended with 28 wickets at an average of 22 in Tests. Jupp did the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in a season ten times, twice for Sussex and eight times for Northants. He could certainly bat - he had 30 first-class hundreds, and a highest score of 217 not out - but he never had much success in Tests. He died in Northamptonshire in 1960.

Roger Telemachus, born today, was unlucky to play at a time South Africa had plenty of fast-bowling talent. In 1998 he made it to England, only to have to return home with an injury early in the tour. He was given a good run in the side in 2000 and 2001, but failed to cement his place. He had a long domestic career but was forced to retire in 2009, after Cape Cobras sent him for an angiogram that determined he could not play competitive sport any more.

Legspinner Imran Tahir, born today in Pakistan, went on to play for South Africa after qualifying in January 2011. His Test debut caused great excitement in South Africa, who had for long missed a quality spinner, but Tahir couldn't quite live up to expectations, taking 26 wickets in 11 matches at 50 in his first year in Test cricket. There was some redemption in Dubai a year later, where Tahir took 5 for 32 to bowl out Pakistan for 99, and came back to take three more in the second innings of a massive victory for South Africa. He fared far better in limited-overs, ending the 2011 World Cup as South Africa's second-highest wicket-taker and being among the top spinners in the 2015 World Cup, where he took his first five-for, against West Indies in Sydney. In the quarter-final, at the same venue, Tahir even troubled Sri Lanka's spin-fed batters, taking 4 for 26. He was named South Africa's T20I cricketer of the year in 2017, having taken a career-best 5 for 24 in Auckland earlier that year.

A close shave for Jesse Ryder, who was put in an induced coma in a hospital after being assaulted twice outside a bar in Christchurch. The city's police arrested two men in connection with the assaults. Ryder was discharged a week later. It was not the first time he suffered an injury in a Christchurch bar - in 2008 he cut his hand after putting it through a glass window of one.

Other birthdays
1888 George Hearne (South Africa)
1910 Frank Smailes (England)
1957 Beverly Browne (West Indies)
1986 Xavier Marshall (West Indies)