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January 17 down the years

The third of three

Clyde Walcott is born, and Gavaskar and Solkar open with the ball

Clyde Walcott: the third W  •  Getty Images

Clyde Walcott: the third W  •  Getty Images

1926
One of the Three Ws was born. A glorious batter with a stunning square cut, Clyde Walcott, with Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell, took West Indian cricket to a new level in the 1940s and '50s. Between 1953 and 1955 he made an astonishing ten centuries in 12 Tests, five of them in one series against Australia - but only one of them came in a winning cause. That was his mighty 220 in Bridgetown, which saw off England. He later became an ICC match referee, but had the misfortune to kick off (and, as it transpired, end) his second career with the fractious denouement to the England-Pakistan series in 1992. He died in 2006, aged 80, and was buried alongside Frank Worrell at a site that overlooks the cricket ground named in their honour.
1973
When you're playing India away, and the new ball is taken by Eknath Solkar (18 Test wickets at 59) and, for the first time, that express quickie Sunny Gavaskar (one wicket at 206), it's a fair bet the pitch is going to turn square sooner rather than later. And so it proved in Chennai: Solkar and Gavaskar bowled only five overs in the match, and Bishan Bedi, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna and Salim Durani shared all 20 wickets in India's four-wicket win over England. The match also marked the return to Test cricket of the Nawab of Pataudi Jr, now known as Mansur Ali Khan - he had been stripped of his royal title by the Indian government since his last Test appearance in 1969.
2024
A T20I so close, it needed two Super Overs to decide a winner. Rohit Sharma's hundred took India to 212 from a precarious 22 for 4. Each of Afghanistan's top-three batters made fifties - most impressively Gulbadin Naib, whose 59 off 23 took his side level with India. Afghanistan collected 16 runs in the Super Over, two of those contentiously scampered after the fielder's throw was deflected off Mohammad Nabi's legs. Rohit smacked two sixes off the third and fourth balls in India's reply and then retired himself out to bring in a faster runner, Rinku Singh, for the last ball. It didn't do the trick and Rohit was back batting in the second Super Over (cue controversy, because batters who are out in a Super Over are not allowed to bat in ones that follow). This time, they made only 11 before losing both wickets, but that proved plenty for legspinner Ravi Bishnoi, who cleaned the Afghanistan batters up with his first two deliveries to seal the 3-0 series whitewash.
1925
Pakistan's first Test captain is born. An attacking left-hand batter and tidy slow left-armer, Abdul Kardar held the post in Pakistan's first 23 Tests, having already played three Tests for India as Abdul Hafeez. He led Pakistan to a famous victory at The Oval in 1954, and went on to become a respected if somewhat dictatorial figure of authority as president of the PCB. He died in Islamabad in 1996.
2018
The world's No. 1 Test team, India, lost their first Test series since August 2015 (although they hadn't won a series outside Asia, excluding the West Indies, since the start of 2010) when they went down 2-0 in South Africa with a 135-run loss in Centurion, despite a gutsy hundred by their captain, Virat Kohli. Debutant fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, replacing the injured Dale Steyn, took 6 for 39 in the second innings.
1912
A second consecutive century from Jack Hobbs - this one a massive 187 - set up England for a seven-wicket win over Australia in Adelaide, putting them 2-1 up in a series they would eventually cruise 4-1. It was a match in which Joe Vine, the Sussex allrounder, who would make his England debut in the next Test, substituted for the injured Australian Victor Trumper and caught his team-mate "Tiger" Smith.
2016
How many batters do you need to chase 169 in a T20? Only two, if you are New Zealand. Martin Guptill, in exceptional limited-overs form, and Kane Williamson added a record 171 in 17.4 overs against Pakistan in Hamilton - then the largest stand in T20I for any wicket. Guptill made 87 and Williamson 72 in what was also the largest successful T20I chase without losing a wicket at the time.
1908
An Englishman with a Test average of 64 is born. Bryan Valentine only played seven matches for his country, but he found time for two centuries - one on debut, in Bombay in 1933-34 - and a 97. His average was rather deceptive, though, as it more than doubled his first-class one. He died in Otford, Kent in 1983.
1928
The crossover between cricket and baseball is often discussed, but Australia's Ken Archer - who was born today - is one of the few cricketers to be offered a baseball contract in America. He didn't take up the chance, but he did play five Tests for Australia between 1950 and 1951, making three scores in the 40s but no half-centuries. His brother Ron also played for Australia.
1999
A classical 108 gave Graeme Hick the Man-of-the-Match award in England's World Series win over Australia at the SCG. It started Hick off on a storming run of form, in which he made scores of 108, 66 not out, 126 not out and 109, but that was not a sign of things to come in the World Cup four months later.
2020
Andre Russell and Mohammad Nawaz starred with bat and ball to give Rajshahi Royals the BPL title. The two put on 71 runs off the last 34 balls of Rajshahi's innings, and 101 in all, and kept things tight(ish) when they bowled. It was Rajshahi's first title win in the seven years of the league's existence.
2008
Wicket No. 600 for Anil Kumble, with the dismissal of Andrew Symonds on the second day of the Perth Test. Kumble joined two other spinners, Muthiah Muralidaran and Shane Warne, when he reached the mark.
Other birthdays
1913 Yuvraj of Patiala (India)
1939 Antao D'Souza (Pakistan)
1977 Matthew Walker (New Zealand)