All Today's Yesterdays - August 17 down the years
August 16 | August 18
One of the most extraordinary pieces of sustained fast bowling ended with Michael Holding becoming the only West Indian to take 14 wickets in a Test. On an Oval pitch known as a graveyard for pace bowlers, he twice clean-bowled the England captain Tony Greig, who had suggested before the series that West Indies might "grovel". Holding lived up his nickname of Whispering Death by taking 8 for 92 and 6 for 57 to wrap up a 3-0 series win.
Birth of Habibul Bashar, the one Bangladesh batsman who has held his own in international cricket. He started off by stroking 71 and 30 in his country's debut match, against India at Dhaka in 2000-01, and then made 64 and 76 against Zimbabwe at Harare later in the same season. He has performed well against tougher opposition too, scoring 141 runs in the two-Test series in Australia. Bashar is also the only Bangladesh batsman to score fifties in each innings of a Test on three occasions.
One of the best and most unforgettable opening batsmen scored the first of his 22 Test centuries. Geoff Boycott was still wearing glasses when he made 113 at The Oval against such high-class pace bowlers as Graham McKenzie and Neil Hawke. Australia retained the Ashes when rain washed out the last day.
After making 128, then the highest score for India in a Test in England, classy opening batsman Vijay Merchant was run out by Denis Compton, who played for Arsenal when they won the 1950 FA Cup final. Like the skilful winger he was, Compo ran Merchant out by kicking the ball onto the stumps.
Hard-hitting Australian batsman Reggie Duff was born. When rain fell on his Test debut, against England at Melbourne in 1901-02, he was held back until the pitch improved - then made 104, the first century by a No. 10 batsman in Test cricket. Australia's win levelled the series. After that hundred in his first Test, he scored another in his last, top-scoring with 146 at The Oval in 1905.
One of South Africa's best wicketkeeper-captains was born. Percy Sherwell's nine stumpings against Australia in 1910-11 equalled a series record that still stands. He captained his country in every one of his 13 matches - and his only Test century was a real captain's innings. He promoted himself to open the innings at Lord's in 1907 - then hit 115 to save a match in which South Africa had followed on. He captained them to their first win over England, at Johannesburg in 1905-06, when he came in at No. 11 to score 22 and help snatch the match by one wicket.
Lancashire offspinner Roy Tattersall was born. Although the considerable shadow of Jim Laker limited his Test appearances, he had his moments, sharing a matchwinning stand with Reg Simpson at Melbourne in 1950-51 and taking 7 for 52 and 5 for 49 to beat South Africa at Lord's in 1951. In all, he took 58 wickets in his 16 Tests.
Very few slow left-armers have played for Australia - although ironically the first played in the very first Test match. Tom Kendall, who died on this day, was the first bowler to take seven wickets in a Test innings. In that inaugural match, at Melbourne in 1876-77, his 7 for 55 helped beat England by 45 runs. He also took six wickets in the next Test, the following month, but couldn't stop England winning by four wickets and wasn't capped again.