A Canberra classic
After a one-sided men's Ashes series, the women's equivalent produced a stone-cold thriller in Canberra. England made the highest fourth-innings score in women's Test history, 244, and fell 13 runs short. With three overs and three wickets left, they needed 17 to win; then two batters fell off successive balls by legspinner Alana King and England were nine down. Annabel Sutherland, who had five wickets in the match, had one last crack, but tailenders Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone saw her, and King's last over, out. Both captains were to the fore. Meg Lanning made 93 in Australia's first innings, and declared twice in pursuit of a victory they very nearly achieved. Heather Knight was Player of the Match for her epic 168 over more than seven hours in England's first innings, and 48 in the chase, where she put on an attacking 72-run stand with Nat Sciver.
The winner-takes-all clash between Australia and West Indies was decided today in one extraordinary spell. Curtly Ambrose shoved Australia off the Perth trampoline with seven wickets for one run in 32 balls - from 85 for 2, they were 119 all out. West Indies closed the first day on 135 for 1, and that was effectively that. The match was over by lunch on the third day, with Ian Bishop taking six in the second innings. His haul included Allan Border, who bagged the only pair of his first-class career. The WACA groundsman was subsequently dismissed for preparing such a home away from home for Ambrose and friends.
Birth of South Africa's greatest spin bowler. Hugh Tayfield was a master of flight and accuracy, and at times could be virtually unhittable. He was nicknamed "Toey" because of his peculiar habit of stubbing his toe into the ground before bowling. The highlight of his career was his 9 for 113 against England in Johannesburg in 1956-57, when he bowled throughout the last day, sending down 35 eight-ball overs to lead South Africa to a thrilling 17-run victory. That brought them back into the series at 1-2, and Tayfield squared it in the next one with a second-innings 6 for 78 as England fell 59 short of the 189 they needed for victory. He also equalled Bill Edrich's Test record of marrying five times. Tayfield died in Durban in 1994.
The Ashes were returned to England in the form of a burnt bail in an urn. After losing in 1882 at The Oval - in the wake of which a mock obituary appeared in the Sporting Times - England went to Australia next season and won 2-1. Australia won the first Test and England took the second by an innings and 27 runs. In the third at the SCG, Fred Spofforth, the "Demon" from 1882, took seven in England's second innings, but the target of 153 was too much for Australia. England opener Dick Barlow took 7 for 40 as the hosts were bowled out for 83. It is widely believed that at the end of the series a group of Melbourne women gave England captain Ivo Bligh a small urn containing the ashes of a bail used in the third match.
A trademark England 1990s Ashes victory. Trademark in that it was improbable, was achieved through high-class, high-octane cricket... and the series was dead. Going into the last day in Adelaide, England were effectively 154 for 6 in their second innings, but Phil DeFreitas slammed a sensational 88 off 95 balls, including 22 off one over from Craig McDermott. Then Devon Malcolm blew away the Australian top order, and after some nerve-jangling tail-end resistance, Chris Lewis and Malcolm wrapped up a famous win with 5.5 overs to spare.
A memorable day for Kapil Dev, who equalled Sir Richard Hadlee's record of 431 Test wickets when he dismissed Don Anurasiri to wrap up India's innings victory over Sri Lanka in Bangalore. Nine days later Kapil moved above Hadlee when he snared Hashan Tillakaratne in Ahmedabad. Earlier in this match India had made 541 for 6 declared, the fifth successive home Test in which they had passed 500.
Birth of left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc, one of the most promising young Australian quick bowlers. In his short international career Starc has been an especially potent wicket-taking option in ODIs, with three five-wicket hauls in his first 17 matches. His batting skills are pretty reasonable too - he fell just one short of a Test century in Mohali in 2013. He was at his best during the 2015 World Cup, finishing the joint-highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets and was named Man of the Tournament. After returning from ankle surgery, Starc was prolific in 2016, taking 50 wickets at 22.5 from eight Tests, including 11 in Galle, and 26 at 19.6 from 13 ODIs.
A sanguine seamer is born. David Brown played 26 Tests for England between 1965 and 1969, and though his contributions were fairly understated - only two five-fors - his average (28.31) puts him just ahead of Harold Larwood and Ian Botham. He often found overseas conditions more to his liking, and took 5 for 63 - including three wickets in one eight-ball over with the second new ball - to set up England's innings victory in Sydney in 1965-66.
The right place at the right time. Leland Hone's first-class experience was limited to two uneventful matches for MCC in 1878, but when Lord Harris found himself about to take an MCC side to Australia without a wicketkeeper, he called on Hone (himself only an occasional keeper). Hone's third first-class match was the Sydney Test, where he became the first man to play for England without having played for a county. There were five more outings - all for MCC - before Hone returned to Ireland, the country of his birth.
Chris Broad found himself £500 out of pocket when he smashed down his stumps after being bowled by Steve Waugh in the Bicentennial Test, in Sydney. Broad had made 139, his fourth hundred in six Tests in Australia, but the tour management didn't take too kindly to his last shot - a withering pull that sent the stumps flying - and fined him. Wisden Cricket Monthly described it as a "pathetic display of pique".
Already the only Australian to play Test cricket in his fifties, and the second-oldest Test player of all time, left-arm spinner Bert "Dainty" Ironmonger played his last Sheffield Shield game today, at the age of 51 years, 298 days.
Birth of Suraj Randiv, a Sri Lankan offie with no mystery balls. Randiv had a forgettable Test debut, going for 222 runs for two wickets in an SSC runathon against India, whose ire he faced a month later when he bowled a no-ball to deny Virender Sehwag a hundred at the end of an ODI in Dambulla. In between the two matches, he got nine wickets in the Test at the P Sara against the same opposition. He became Sri Lanka's second-choice spinner in Tests for a time, but slowly lost his place in the limited-overs sides.
1913 Dickie Fuller (West Indies)
1943 June Stephenson (England)
1951 Trevor Laughlin (Australia)
1959 Alexander Morgan (West Indies)
1961 Ranjith Madurasinghe (Sri Lanka)
1964 Denise Annetts (Australia)
1967 Purnima Rau (India)
1974 Robert Rollins (England)
1977 Alison Hodgkinson (South Africa)