All Today's Yesterday's - May 19 down the years

The original entertainer is born. Gilbert Jessop was arguably a fiercer hitter than Viv Richards, Ian Botham, Adam Gilchrist, or anyone else who has belted leather for a living, and his feats with the willow are legendary. Known as "The Croucher" for his unusual stance, he hit his first ball for Gloucestershire for four, having come in on a hat-trick, and in all, his 53 first-class centuries came at the unbelievable average rate of 82.7 runs an hour. At Hove in 1903, he smashed 286 against Sussex in under three hours. He also creamed 157 in an hour against West Indies in 1900. In 18 Tests he made only one hundred, but what an innings it was. In a series decider against Australia on a poor Oval wicket in 1902, England were 48 for 5 chasing 263 when Jessop entered the arena. He walloped 104 in only 77 minutes, out of 139 runs scored while he was at the crease, and England eventually crept home by one wicket. Jessop was also a genuinely fast bowler and sensational in the covers. He died in Dorset in 1955.

Only 11 Tests for Alan Melville, the stylish South African opener who was born today, but he certainly made the most of them, making four centuries and averaging 52. Those four centuries came in consecutive innings ... but were spread over nine years. Melville cracked 103 at Durban in 1938-39, South Africa's last Test before the war, and hit 189, 104 not out, and 117 in England in 1947. Immediately before that first century, Melville made 67 and 78. Oddly, in 13 other Test innings, he only once reached 50. Melville also captained Sussex in 1934 and 1935. He died in Sabie, Transvaal in 1983.

One of the joys of the old Texaco Trophy was to see which rabbit the England selectors would pull from the hat. On this day, against West Indies at Edgbaston, Monte Lynch made his England debut ... and was run out second ball after being sent back by his captain, Mike Gatting. It didn't get much better - Lynch made 2 and 6 in the next two games and was not picked again. England won though, by six wickets, the first of eight victories in nine one-dayers at home to West Indies.

Darren Gough's England debut. In international terms, he was unheard of a year earlier, but a good A tour of South Africa and a Ray Illingworth hunch led to Goughie being picked against New Zealand at Edgbaston. Typically, he didn't hang around, and had Martin Crowe caught at slip for 0 with his sixth delivery. Gough bowled impressively to take 2 for 36, and another debutant and Illy hunch did well with 2 for 39 as England won by 42 runs. Whatever happened to Shaun Udal?

There were three other high-profile debutants a year earlier, when England blew a winning position in the first match of the Texaco Trophy against Australia at Old Trafford. Matthew Hayden made 29, Andy Caddick took 1 for 50, and Graham Thorpe nudged 31 off 38 balls. England were cruising - 171 for 3 chasing 259 - but the dismissal of Graeme Hick sparked a collapse and at the end, when Richard Illingworth was run out off the penultimate ball, they trailed by just four runs. It set the the tone for a chastening international summer, in which England ended up on the wrong end of a 7-1 scoreline.

Other birthdays

1876 Joe Humphries (England)
1957 Shaun Graf (Australia)
1965 Edward "Tito" Odumbe (Kenya)