All Today's Yesterdays - July 25 down the years

July 24| July 26

The beginning of England's tale of four wicketkeepers. When Richard Hadlee sent Bruce French to hospital in the first Test at Lord's, England needed a replacement keeper. Bill Athey donned the gloves for two overs, and then Bob Taylor - aged 45 and at the ground doing PR work for the sponsors Cornhill Insurance - sheepishly came onto the field and kept so impeccably that it seemed he'd never been away. The next day Hampshire's Bobby Parks stood in from after lunch, and then French resumed on the fourth day - for all of one ball, which was all it took to wrap up New Zealand's innings. Oddly, none of the four took any catches.

At Headingley, a pivotal moment in an Ashes series. With the series locked at 1-1, Australia were 50 for 3 in reply to England's 172, Matthew Elliott poked at an awayswinger from Mike Smith, and edged it gently towards first slip - where Graham Thorpe dropped it. It was a dolly. Off the very next ball, Dean Headley nabbed Steve Waugh, so the Aussies might have been 50 for 5. Instead their fifth-wicket pair of Elliott and Ricky Ponting, who made his maiden Test century in his first Ashes Test, added a soul-destroying 288. Elliott, 29 when he was dropped, plunged 170 daggers into Thorpe's heart. England were pummelled by an innings - and Smith, who himself later dropped Elliott, never did take a Test wicket.

Lucky 13th for New Zealand. They had got close on a couple of occasions, not least on their previous visit in 1994, but at the 13th attempt, New Zealand won a Test at Lord's. The architects of their nine-wicket win were Chris Cairns, who took 6 for 77 to shoot England out for 186 in their first innings, and Matt Horne, whose even 100 ensured that the initiative was not lost. England, who had won an extraordinary match at Edgbaston to go 1-0 up, never recovered, and eventually succumbed 2-1. It was an inauspicious start to Nasser Hussain's tenure as captain.

The hat-trick taken by fast bowler Peter Loader against West Indies at Headingley was the last by an England bowler in a Test until Dominic Cork in 1995. Loader dismissed West Indies captain John Goddard then bowlers Sonny Ramadhin and Roy Gilchrist, as West Indies collapsed to 142 all out. England replied with 279, which was enough to seal an innings victory, and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

At the age of 66, the incomparable WG Grace made 69 not out for Eltham away to Grove Park, his last innings in club cricket. He died the following year.

Living up to his reputation as one of the biggest hitters in history, Gilbert Jessop scored a hundred before lunch twice in the same match, for Gloucestershire at Bradford against a Yorkshire opening attack of George Hirst and Wilfred Rhodes.

In an exciting one-day international at Colombo's Khettarama stadium, India beat Sri Lanka by one run in the last over.

A maiden Test century for Bob Simpson turned into a monumental 311 at Old Trafford. The match ended as a monumental bore.

Other birthdays
1968 Rudi Bryson (South Africa)
1930 Murray Chapple (New Zealand)
1925 Alistair Taylor (South Africa)