All Today's Yesterdays - May 16 down the years

1956
A portentous day at The Oval. Jim Laker took all ten wickets for Surrey in a tour match against the Australians, a feat he would famously repeat in the Old Trafford Test later that summer. Here Laker took 10 for 88 and his spin partner Tony Lock 0 for 100, on a turner so raging that Ray Lindwall bowled only two out of 133 overs in Surrey's first innings. Ten weeks later, Laker took 10 for 53 in the second innings of the fourth Test, to make it 19 for 90 in that match. Poor Lock was again the bridesmaid, with 1 for 116. Here, though, he at least cleaned up in the second innings, taking seven wickets to Laker's two. Lock himself also took all ten that summer, for Surrey against Kent at Blackheath, and 16 in the match. Laker wasn't playing, mind you.

1906
Birth of the Australian fast bowler Ernie McCormick, who played 12 Tests just before the Second World War. At his best, McCormick was genuinely quick, but he was constantly plagued by back trouble. Like Shane Warne, he took a wicket with his first ball in Ashes Tests: Stan Worthington, caught behind off the first ball of the 1936-37 Brisbane Test, and in the same match he inflicted Wally Hammond's first Ashes duck. In his first match in England, at Worcester in 1938, McCormick was no-balled for overstepping no fewer than 35 times, 19 of them in his first three overs. He died in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, in 1991.

1938
Don Bradman continued his amazing start to Australia's England tour with a massive 278 against MCC at Lord's. It came in only 349 minutes and included 35 fours and a six. His run of scores prior to the Test series were: 258, 58, 137, 278, 2, 143, 145*, 5, 30*. He didn't do too badly when the real action started either. Bradman cracked 434 runs at an average of 108 in the Tests.

1972
When left-arm spinner Matthew Hart, who was born today, made his New Zealand debut as a 21-year-old against Pakistan at Wellington in 1993-94, he was talked up as the next big thing. As it turned out, that was Daniel Vettori, and Hart's 12-Test career was a disappointment. He did play one match-winning hand, however, when he took eight South African wickets at Johannesburg in 1994-95. But too often Hart was anodyne: his strike rate was a wicket every 106 balls.

Other birthdays

1975 Niroshan Bandaratilleke (Sri Lanka)