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June 22 down the years

Behind the eight-ball

Bob Massie has an impressive debut

Bob Massie is clapped off the field by his team-mates after he tool 16 for 137, England v Australia, second Test, Lord's, June 23 1972

Bob Massie, cheered by his team-mates, took 16 for 137 on debut  •  The Cricketer International

The beginning of Massie's match. When the Lord's Test between England and Australia began, Bob Massie was just another nervous debutant - and one who had been rejected by Northants after a trial two years previously. Four days later he achieved cricketing immortality. Swinging the ball fiendishly in helpful conditions, Massie took 8 for 84 and 8 for 53, the best figures by a debutant until Narendra Hirwani destroyed West Indies in 1987-88. England simply had no answer. Massie's figures were almost as impressive as his enormous sideburns. He was the talk of the town for the next few weeks, but he only played five more Tests. And within 18 months of his Test debut he was dropped by his state side, Western Australia.
The start of England's first post-war Test, and an unforgettable debut for Alec Bedser. He had to wait until he was 27 to play Test cricket but soon made up for lost time with 7 for 49 in his first innings, and 11 wickets in all, as England hammered India inside two and a half days at Lord's. Bedser was the king of seven-fors: he took another in his second Test, and five in all during his Test career.
Almost five years after making his one-day debut, Sourav Ganguly stroked a sumptuous 131 on his Test debut, for India against England at Lord's. Earlier in the match Jack Russell, a less aesthetically appealing left-hander, made his second Test hundred - and the first by an England wicketkeeper at Lord's for 44 years. Three Tests later he was dropped. Russell also caught Rahul Dravid for 95, thus preventing the first instance of two debutants making a century in the same Test. This drawn match is best remembered as the 66th and last of Dickie Bird's career. As he entered the field the players formed a guard of honour, but Bird wiped away the tears to trigger Mike Atherton lbw for 0 to the fifth ball of the match. It was all deliciously ironic: Bird was usually a notorious not-outer when it came to lbws.
England clinched a seven-wicket win over New Zealand at Lord's with only 15 minutes to spare. But the match is best remembered as the last of Fred Trueman's 67-Test career. He finished with 2 for 40 and 0 for 69, and took his wickets total to 307, a world record for just over ten years until West Indies' Lance Gibbs usurped him.
World Cup semi-final day, and a nasty surprise for England at Old Trafford, where India beat them by six wickets. England were restricted to 213 on a poor pitch - nobody topped Graeme Fowler's 33 - and India cantered home with five overs to spare. Sandeep Patil, with what Wisden Cricket Monthly described as "a cascade of volatile drives", was the match-winner; he completed a 32-ball fifty with the winning hit.
In the other semi-final, Clive Lloyd won the toss - and West Indies the match. The two events weren't entirely unrelated. Pakistan wobbled to 184 for 8 on a typically bouncy Oval surface, and West Indies eased home by eight wickets with 11 overs to spare.
West Indies fell five runs short of beating New Zealand in their World Cup game at Old Trafford. It had all seemed over bar the shouting when they sank to 164 for 7, miles short of the target - 292, more than half of which was made by Kane Williamson, in the form of his life. Then, with 33 runs needed off the last three overs, Carlos Brathwaite muscled 25 off one Matt Henry over before he was agonisingly caught by Trent Boult with his feet inches from the boundary rope.
A rude awakening for India, who had looked in imperious form in their three World Cup matches till then. Though the Southampton wicket didn't exactly favour batting, India made quite a trek of their 224. Afghanistan then kept themselves in the hunt till the very end, thanks largely to Mohammad Nabi, who made 52 off 55 to go with his two wickets earlier in the game. But after Jasprit Bumrah bowled a masterful five-run penultimate over, Mohammed Shami cleaned up with a hat-trick and the win in the 50th.
Jerome Taylor, born today, is better known for bowling West Indies to a famous Test win, taking 5 for 11 to bundle England out for 51 in Kingston in 2009. He made his Test debut in 2003, but after three wickets in his first three Tests, he got his next chance only in 2006. He didn't let that one slip, doing especially well against India - getting the ball to lift in the final Test in Kingston, where he got his maiden five-for (and nine in the match). He also took 4 for 49 against Australia in a Champions Trophy match in 2006 and a five-for against Zimbabwe in an ODI the next year. His international career was then disrupted by injuries when he was at his peak, and he was in the wilderness for nearly four years before his comeback in 2014 against New Zealand. The following year, he took 11 wickets in two Tests against England, but he was dropped after the Australia tour of 2015-16, seemingly for good.
A Dutch opener is born - in Barbados. Nolan Clarke hammered 159 for Barbados against Mike Denness' England tourists in 1973-74 with what the Wisden Almanack described as "such power and confidence that might have been devastating international attacks for years". Twenty-two years later, at the age of 47, Clarke finally got to play international cricket, for Netherlands in the 1995-96 World Cup, although he only got 50 runs in five innings. He'd done more than most to get them there, having scored 121 not out against Bermuda in the ICC Trophy playoff that clinched their place.
Match-saving heroics from Robin Smith at Lord's. Smith pounded 148 not out against West Indies, after England had been in real trouble at 84 for 5, still 335 behind West Indies in the first innings. This was Smith's zenith: his average roared back over 50, and he ended the series with a record of 27 Tests, 2051 runs, and an average of 52.58. A year later he entered the dark alley of legspin, when Mushtaq Ahmed, and then Shane Warne, made fatal dents into his confidence. Also in this match, Derek Pringle took his third and final Test five-for. Believe it or not, they were all against West Indies.
Birth of the first black man to play for Australia. Sam Morris, who was born in Hobart of West Indian parents, was a decent allrounder who played one Test, in Melbourne in 1884-85. He died in Victoria in 1931.
Other birthdays
1910 Elsie Deane (Australia)
1923 Jimmy Cameron (West Indies)
1935 Vaman Kumar (India)
1947 Murray Webb (New Zealand)
1958 Sudha Shah (India)
1966 Meyrick Pringle (South Africa)
1979 Peter McGlashan (New Zealand)
1980 Kavita Roy (India)
1981 Alex Gidman (England)