The end of a momentous Lord's Test. England looked set to go 2-0 down to West Indies when they were 160 for 8, chasing 188. But Dominic Cork, who had already taken match figures of 7 for 52 on his return, had other ideas: he smacked Franklyn Rose for six and after some unbearable tension as England limped towards their target, cut the winning four. It was the purest catharsis. The third day alone would have made this a classic, but the second was extraordinary. For the first time in Test history, a part of all four innings took place on one day. Throughout a famous Friday, a wicket fell every 22 balls. After England trailed by 133 on first innings, Darren Gough took a sensational catch to dismiss Sherwin Campbell, and in the blink of an eye West Indies were 54 all out. Only Ridley Jacobs reached double figures, and he was dropped on 0. Then England squeezed home, but spare a thought for Curtly Ambrose. In the second innings he beat the bat almost at will, but ended with figures of 22-11-22-1.
When England threw in the kids. At Trent Bridge, two-nil down to Australia, and having lost seven Tests in a row, the selectors decided enough was enough. Out went Messrs. Tufnell, Lewis, Foster, Hick and Gatting, and in came Mark Lathwell (age 21), Graham Thorpe (23), Mark Ilott (22) and Martin McCague (24) for their debuts, as well as Nasser Hussain (25) after a three-year absence. And Andy Caddick and Peter Such were playing only their third Tests. But as Alan Hansen would tell you, you never win anything with kids. And as he might have said, you don't bowl Australia out twice on a flat track with an attack of McCague, Ilott, Caddick and Such. England didn't, even though they had the better of the match. Thorpe became the first English debutant for 20 years to make a hundred, and McCague, backed by a raucous crowd and fired up by Australian papers describing him as "the rat who joined the sinking ship", worked the Aussies over in a hostile first-innings spell.
A journeyman's day in the sun. In a tour match against India at Southampton, Hampshire's Kevan James took four wickets in four balls - and then scored a century. He is still the only man to do so in a first-class match. Better still, the four wickets came after India had stormed to 207 for 1. It took what James described as "a rubbish ball" to get things started. Vikram Rathour missed it and was stumped down the leg side. Next was Sachin Tendulkar, taken at short leg. Then Rahul Dravid was lbw and, not content with a hat-trick, James had Sanjay Manjrekar caught chasing a wide one. It was a brief, delirious interlude in India's relentless run-gathering: Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble then added 155 for the sixth wicket.
The day Darren Gough bustled into Test cricket. He'd been a spectator on the first day of England's third Test against New Zealand at Old Trafford, but on the second Gough puffed out his chest and immediately had a huge impact. At first it was with the bat. Coming to the crease after England had crawled to 235 for 7, Gough cracked 10 fours in a quickfire 65 and injected some life in the match in the process. Wisden Cricket Monthly said that "Gough carried on as if he played in these matches every Saturday afternoon." Then came his day job. Mark Greatbatch was bounced out fifth-ball, and soon after Stephen Fleming was caught behind. Gough ended with first-innings figures of 4 for 47, and a star was born.
Aged just 16 years 352 days, Khalid Hassan made his Test debut for Pakistan against England at Trent Bridge. At the time Hassan was the youngest Test cricketer, but he has since been left behind by a series of younger men. Hassan does have one (unwanted) record: as a one-cap wonder, his last day of Test cricket came at the tender age of 16 years 356 days.
1963 Sajid Ali (Pakistan)
1969 Graham Lloyd (England)