May 18 down the years

Verity, I say unto thee

The author of the cheapest ten-for in first-class history is born

Hedley Verity, April 1938

Hedley Verity: the man whose bunny was Don Bradman  •  Getty Images

The great Hedley Verity, born today, one of the long line of famous Yorkshire slow left-armers, took 10 for 10 against Nottinghamshire at Headingley in 1931. As well as surprisingly being the only ten-for ever to include a hat-trick, it was his second of the summer, Warwickshire having also been on the receiving end on the same ground (10 for 36). Verity's 40-Test career included some startling performances, most notably 15 for 104 at Lord's in England's only 20th-century Ashes victory there, in 1934. And nobody snared Don Bradman more often in Tests than Verity, who did it eight times. He was just 38 when he died in a prisoner-of-war camp in Caserta, Italy, in 1943. He ended with 1956 first-class wickets at the startling average of 14.90, and a strike rate of a wicket every 42 balls.
In the fourth Test against Australia in Barbados, West Indies began the third day on 187 for 6, still the small matter of 481 runs behind Australia. They were in all sorts of trouble, but Denis Atkinson and Clairmonte Depeiaza had other ideas. They were still there at the close, having taken the score to 494 and become only the second pair to bat through an entire day's play in a Test. Their partnership of 347 remains a Test record for the seventh wicket; at the time it was a first-class record as well. Atkinson made 219, his only Test hundred, and Depeiaza 122, his only first-class hundred. Unsurprisingly, the match was drawn.
An unlucky charm is born. It's an odd statistic that Graham Dilley was on the winning side in only two of his 41 Tests. One of those was at Headingley in 1981 - when he gave it some humpty and matched Ian Botham run for run in their famous partnership - and the other at the Gabba in 1986-87, when Dilley, who at his best was genuinely quick, took his first Test five-for and set the tone for a triumphant tour. All six of Dilley's five-fors came between November 1986 and June 1988, but after that he played only four Tests. He went on to become England's bowling coach for a time from 2001-02. Dilley died at the age of 52 after a short illness.
Few debut nerves at Frome, where Harold Gimblett walloped 123 in 80 minutes in his first match for Somerset. Essex were the victims, Gimblett having come to the crease with his side in trouble at 107 for 6. Wisden said he "cut, drove, pulled and hooked in a manner that set cricket circles talking for weeks of his audacious batting". Within a year he was playing for England.
Birth of Pat Trimborn, the Natal seamer who played in South Africa's last Test before their isolation, against Australia in Port Elizabeth in 1969-70. His match figures - 37.2-5-91-4 - were typical Trimborn: economical, reliable, and occasionally penetrative. He only played four Tests, all against Australia. On his debut, in Durban in 1966-67, he was one of no fewer than six seam bowlers in the South African side.
Other birthdays
1925 Nigel Howard (England)
1970 Carl Tuckett (West Indies)
1972 Amay Khurasiya (India)