All Today's Yesterdays - July 31 down the years

History was made at Old Trafford when Jim Laker took his 19th wicket in the fourth Test against Australia, including all ten wickets in the second innings. Laker had warmed up his day of reckoning by taking 9 for 37 in Australia's first outing, that itself the best-ever return by an England bowler in Ashes cricket. In the second innings, though, he was unstoppable, and when the last man, Maddocks, was trapped lbw, Laker had taken all 10 wickets for 53 runs. No less astonishing was Tony Lock's match return of 1 for 106 in 71.4 overs. The Australians were said to be fuming about an Old Trafford pitch that had been deliberately underprepared to suit the spinners, but as their captain, Ian Johnson said afterwards: "When the controversy and side issues of the match are forgotten, Laker's wonderful bowling will remain." No-one else has taken more than 17 in a first-class match.

Birth of the South African opener Jimmy Cook, who scored so many runs for Somerset. Forced to wait till he was 39 for his first taste of Test cricket, he was out to his very first ball - from Kapil Dev - the opening delivery of a match against India at Durban in 1992-93.

Yorkshire's great slow left-armer Hedley Verity died in a Prisoner of War camp in Italy. He set a world record by taking 10 for 10 against Notts, and in 1934 dismissed 14 batsmen in a day to give England their only win against Australia at Lord's in the 20th Century.

Fair-haired and full of flair, Frank Hayes scored a hundred on his Test debut, against West Indies at The Oval> - but nerves got in the way of his Test career, in which he never again scored more than 29, and eventually averaged only 15.25. He scored 34 runs off an over in 1977 and now teaches maths and physics at Oakham School.

England's first blackwash was in the post after West Indies went 4-0 up after four with an innings victory at Old Trafford. Gordon Greenidge smashed his second double-century of the series - he averaged over 100 in Old Trafford Tests - but it was Winston Davis who really put the boot in. Not content with creaming a career-best 77, he fractured Paul Terry's left arm with a short ball that didn't get up as Terry expected. Terry bravely returned to see Allan Lamb to a first-innings century - it was Lamb's third in as many Tests, not bad given the havoc being wreaked all around him.

Birth of "Gubby" Allen. Later Sir George Oswald Browning Allen, he took 21 wickets in 1932-33 without bowling Bodyline, captained England in the feverish 1936-37 series, and for many years was influential behind the scenes at Lord's.

Australian opening batsman Bill Brown was born. Top of his Test achievements was an innings of 206, carrying his bat, at Lord's in 1938. He was controversially run out while backing up (the original "Mankad") against India in 1947-48.

Lieutenant-Colonel Hemu Adhikari was born. After scoring a century against West Indies, and captaining India in 1958-59, he became a respected manager of Indian touring teams.

Other birthdays
1916 Verdun "Scotty" Scott (New Zealand)
1939 Roger Prideaux (England)
1968 Saeed Al-Saffar (United Arab Emirates)
1975 Andrew Hall (South Africa)