He may not be in the best of form right now, but Sanath Jayasuriya, who was born today, has left his mark on the cricket world with a series of stunning assaults. Most of the world's leading bowlers have been hit by Hurricane Sanath at some point. He was the player of the 1996 World Cup, most famously battering 82 off only 44 balls against England in the quarter-finals. In the same winter, against Pakistan in Singapore, he creamed 134 off only 65 balls. Jayasuriya is no one-day biffer, though: his 340 against India in Colombo in 1997-98 is the highest Test score by a Sri Lanka. In England in 1998 he hammered 213 at The Oval. And on the first morning of the 2000-01 series against South Africa, at Galle, he slashed a stunning 148 off only 156 balls, so demoralising the South Africans that they subsided to their first and only innings defeat to a side other than Australia and England. Jayasuriya can bowl too, though perhaps doesn't put himself on enough. Only one Sri Lankan spinner has taken more than his 69 Test wickets. During his stint as captain, he led Sri Lanka to nine Test wins in a row, after which he took them, against the odds, into the semi-final of World Cup 2003. But he lost his captaincy soon after that, and gracefully slid into the role of senior statesman.
Happy birthday to Peter Pollock, the brilliant South African who was born today. As a brawny fast bowler, he was right out of the top bracket. On his debut, at Durban in 1961-62, he demolished New Zealand with match figures of 9 for 99. Pollock's zenith was probably the Trent Bridge Test of 1965. He took two five-fors, and his younger brother Graeme cracked a glorious 125 in South Africa's 94-run victory. There's something about those Pollock genes - Peter's son Shaun isn't bad either. Having taken 15 wickets in his last Test series, against Australia in 1969-70, Peter became chairman of selectors when South Africa returned to the fold in 1991-92.
The first Test hat-trick in England. JT (that's Old Jack) Hearne's trio could hardly have been more distinguished: the Australians Clem Hill, Syd Gregory and Monty Noble, all for ducks. The match was abandoned as a draw when rain washed out the final day. Tragically, it is best remembered for an epileptic fit suffered by Johnny Briggs on the first night of the match. He did not play Test cricket again, and was dead within three years.
An England captain is born. The bespectacled, scholarly MJK Smith was in charge for exactly half of his 50 Tests, between 1963-64 and 1966. A grafting right-handed batsman, he made two of his three centuries in his first seven Tests. But after his third - at Cape Town, in 1964-65 - Smith's form fell away badly. He passed fifty in only one of his last 20 Tests. He also once played rugby for England against Wales, and he later managed a couple of England tours in the 1990s. Smith's son, Neil, also played for England in one-day internationals.
Some record-breaking strokeplay at Lord's, as England became the first team to score over 500 runs in a single day's play. It was a record that was not surpassed until Sri Lanka bullied Bangladesh to the tune of 509 runs in July 2002. Here, England scored 503 runs for the loss of two wickets - and still had time to declare and have a bowl at South Africa at the end. In all there were 522 runs scored, though England and India smashed that particular record at Manchester 12 years later. The plunderers were Jack Hobbs (211), Herbert Sutcliffe (122), Frank Woolley (134 not out) and Patsy Hendren (50 not out). These were the days of three-day Tests, so England had reason to get a move on. It worked, too, as they won by an innings and 18 runs.
The Don's Lord's masterpiece. Bradman's average at Lord's was a relatively paltry 78, but in his first Test innings there he lashed a glorious 254. It propelled Australia to 720 for 6 - the highest total in any first-class match at Lord's - and ultimately a seven-wicket victory.
Birth of John Jameson, the rampaging Warwickshire opener who never quite made it at the top level. He played four Tests, in 1971 and 1973-74, but he was more at home in county cricket. In 1974, when batting for Warwickshire, he smashed 240 not out in a record partnership of 465 for the second wicket with Rohan Kanhai against Gloucestershire at Edgbaston. He later became a first-class umpire, coached Sussex, and then became assistant secretary of MCC.
A New Zealand batsman is born - in Glasgow. Gordon Rowe only played one Test, against Australia at Wellington in 1945-46, and bagged a pair, bowled by Bill O'Reilly in each innings. He died in Palmerston North in 1995.
1890 Horace Chapman (South Africa)
1967 Rudi Steyn (South Africa)
1973 Dodda Ganesh (India)