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Michael ‘Whispering Death’ Holding was born, England won the longest rubber in Ashes history

Sunday, February 15, 2022

Third Week of February

© Cricket Nirvana



Born on this day were: 

Andrew Ducat (1886-1942),
stylish right- handed batsman who played one Test for England in 1921 and also played international soccer for his country; Cyril Vincent (1902-68), South African all-rounder who played in 25 Tests from 1927 to 1935; 

Ellis ‘Puss’ Achong (1904-86), West Indian left-arm spinner of Chinese origin who played six Tests from 1930 to 1935 (It is generally believed that the term ‘Chinaman’ for the left arm spinner’s ‘wrong ’un’ was originated with him in mind); 

Michael ‘Whispering Death’ Holding (1954-), West Indian pace bowler (249 wickets in 60 Tests) of great pace and accuracy who was one of the most graceful and athletic bowlers ever seen on the cricket pitch (the umpires said that they could never hear him approaching the wicket and hence his sobriquet, ‘Whispering Death’. He is now a successful TV commentator); 

Wasim Jaffer (1978-), Indian batsman who was the youngest to score a triple century in Indian first-class cricket; 

Suresh Perera (1978-), Sri Lankan pace bowler.

In 1899 Pelham ‘Plum’ Warner (132 not out) scored a hundred on debut and also carried his bat throughout England’s second innings against South Africa at Johannesburg. He remains the only batsman in Test history to achieve both these feats on debut.

In 1933 England under Douglas Jardine regained the Ashes, thanks to ‘Bodyline’ tactics when thet beat Australia in the fourth Test at Brisbane to take an unassailable 3-1 lead.

In 1966 Australian Bob Cowper scored 307 against England at Melbourne. This was the highest-ever individual Test score made in Australia till Matthew Hayden’s record 380 against Zimbabwe at Perth in 2003.

In 1972 debutante West Indian batsman Lawrence Rowe, who scored 214 in the first innings against New Zealand at Kingston, scored another hundred (100 not out) in the second innings. He remained the only batsman to do so on debut till debutante Yasir Hameed of Pakistan scored 170 and 105 in the first Test against Bangladesh at Karachi in August 2003.

In 1996 Gary Kirsten scored 188 not out (159 balls, four sixes, 13 fours) for South Africa against UAE in a World Cup match at Rawalpindi. This set a new record for the highest-ever-individual score in the World Cup, surpassing Vivian Richards’ 181 not out against Sri Lanka at Karachi in 1987. It is also the third highest ODI score all time. South Africa’s 321 for 2 was far too good for UAE who could manage only 152 but UAE’s ninth wicket partnership of 80 not out (Arshad Laiq and S. Dukanwala) was then the second highest of all time.

In 1999 the first-ever Asian Test Championship began at Calcutta. Pakistan beat India by 46 runs thanks to Saeed Anwar’s 188 not out in the second innings. Pakistan emerged the ultimate winners of the Championship.

In 2002 New Zealand beat England by 155 runs in a day-night ODI at Wellington. During the interval Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings, stood on the pitch with a microphone and persuaded the crowd to make howling, growling and grunting noises for use in battle scenes in his film The Two Towers.

In 2006 New Zealand win international cricket’s first bowl-out, 3-0, after tying Twenty20 match v West Indies at Auckland.


Born on this day were:

Thomas Coleman ‘Tom’ Lowry (1989-1976), New Zealand batsman and their first Test captain; 

Peter Walker (1936-), English all-rounder who played three Tests in 1960; 

Dennis Gamsy (1940-), South African batsman and wicket-keeper who played two Tests in 1970; 

AB de Villiers (1984-), South African batsman.

Two famous Australian wicket-keepers too share this birthday: 

Donald Tallon (1916-84),
Australian’s greatest wicket-keeper according to the greatest cricketer (Don Bradman) of all time (He was hard of hearing and once misunderstood a message from the dressing room, ‘to have a go’ at appealing for bad light and started attacking the bowling instead); 

Barry Jarman (1936-), who later became a Test umpire and an ICC referee, and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1997.

In 1882 the Australia-England match was the first ever Test match to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (and the sixth Test ever). Australian batsman George Coulthard became the first Test umpire to subsequently appear in Test cricket (he had officiated in a Test match as an umpire three years earlier in the only Test at Melbourne against England in 1879). This was his only Test as a player in a match Australia won by five wickets.

In 1971 at the end of the longest rubber in Test history, England won the seventh Test against Australia at Sydney by 62 runs to take the series 2-0 and regain the Ashes.

In 1976 New Zealand beat India at Wellington by an innings and 33 runs to record its first ever innings win in Tests. Richard Hadlee took 7 for 23 as India were dismissed for 81 in the second innings.

In 1979 MacLean Park, Napier became Test cricket’s 50th venue when it hosted the second Test between Pakistan and New Zealand. In 1985 the first day-night match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was played between Australia and England, the first match of the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket.

In 1982 Sri Lanka played its first ever Test match, against England at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo which England won by seven wickets. The P. Saravanamuttu Stadium, formerly the Colombo Oval, became Test cricket’s 53rd ground. It was renamed in 1976 to honour P. Saravanamuttu (1892-1950), president of the Ceylon Cricket Association (1973-49) and the first president of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka who had constructed the stadium from marshland in 1940. Eighteen-year-old Arjuna Ranatunga was in the Sri Lankan side, and made 54 in the first innings. He was also around for his side’s 100th Test – the only player to achieve this feat.

In 1992 Arshad Ayub equaled Sonny Ramadhin’s record of bowling 98 overs (588 balls) in an innings (for West Indies against England at Birmingham in 1957) while playing for Hyderabad against Madhya Pradesh at Secunderabad. He finished with an analysis of 98-24-203-5. The record for a match is 917 balls (152.5) by C.S. Nayudu for Holkar against Bombay, at Bombay in 1944-45. No player has bowled 100 six-ball overs in a Test or first-class innings, although in the early days of Test cricket when four-ball overs used there were some cases of 100 overs.

In 1996 Nolan E. Clarke of Netherlands became the oldest player to make his ODI debut at 47 years 240 days when he appeared for his country in a World Cup match in Baroda. He also remains the oldest to play in a ODI, his last being against South Africa at Rawalpindi on 5 march 1996.

The birth of Twenty20 international. In 2005 Australia win first official Twenty20 international, against New Zealand at Auckland.

In 2006 Kookaburra withdrew controversial graphite-backed bat after MCC ruled it illegal.


Born on this day were:

Fazal Mahmood (1927-),
Pakistani medium-pacer who is considered Pakistan’s first world-class quick bowler (1952-62); 

Barry Knight (1938-), English all-rounder of the mid-1960s; 

Roger Wijesuriya (1960-), Sri Lankan left-arm spinner who played four Tests between 1982 and 1986, and had a strike rate of a wicket every 586 balls – the worst strike rate in Test history; 

Phillip De Freitas (1966-), English pace bowler; 

Tinu Yohannan (1979-) Indian pace bowler.

In 1819 Engliah poet John Keats wrote a letter to his brother and sister on this day narrating how he was hit on ths eye by a white cricket ball. ‘Yesterday I got a black eye – the first time I took a cricket bat….and there is no inflammation this morning though the ball hit me torn on the sight – ‘twas a white ball.’ The white ball was in fact merely a soft practice ball and the first genuine white cricket balls were introduced for the floodlit matches in Kerry Packers’ World Series Cricket.

In 1969 Doug Walters of Australia scored 100 not out in the fifth Test against the West Indies at Sydney. This added to his 242 in the first, made him the first batsman to hit a double century and a century in the same match. He was out for 103 the next day.

In 1977 the West Indian pace duo of Joel Garner and Colin Croft made their Test debuts against Pakistan at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados.

In 1980 Ian Botham became the first and only player to score a century and take ten or more wickets in the same Test when he scored 114 and took his fourth wicket in the second innings. He ended the Test with 13 wickets (6 for 58 and 7 for 48) in the Golden Jubilee Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Bombay.

In 1986 Mike Gatting was hit on the nose by a ball from Malcolm Marshall in the first ODI against West Indies at Sabina Park. Marshall later found a piece of bone embedded in the ball. To add insult to injury (quite literally), a journalist at Heathrow Airport asked Gatting ‘where exactly on the nose the ball had hit him.’


Born on this day were: 

Jack ‘Farmer’ White (1891-1961),
slow left-arm spinner who played 14 of his 15 matches for England after the age of 37; 

Norman O’Neill (1937-), Australian batsman who was at one time considered the new Don Bradman of the 1960s; 

Steve Randell (1956-), Australian Test umpire who was convicted of molesting a girl in 1999 and was paroled in April 2002 after serving time; 

Ruwan Kalpage (1970-), Sri Lankan Test off-spinner (1993-97).

In 1972 Glenn Turner carried his bat making 223 not out against the West Indies in the first Test at Kingston, Jamaica. This was the same match in which West Indian Lawrence Rowe scored 214 and 100 on debut. Turner’s 223 is the highest score for a batsman carrying his bat in Test cricket.

In 1995 Pakistan beat Zimbabwe at Harare by 99 runs in the third Test to become the first side in the history of Tests to come from behind to win a three-Test series overseas. England and Sri Lanka have repeated the feat since.

In 1999 a riot broke out at Calcutta following Sachin Tendulkar’s controversial run out in the Asian Test Championship match against Pakistan. Later as Pakistan moved towards victory on the final day, there was a three-hour delay as well spectators were removed from the ground. Pakistan’s win owed most to a blistering 188 not out from Saeed Anwar, and came in spite of 13 wickets from Javagal Srinath. It was also a stunning comeback: on the first morning Pakistan were 26 for 6.

In 2003 Sri Lanka bowled out Canada for 36 in a World Cup match at Paarl. This was the lowest score in a ODI beating the previous lowest of 38 made by Zimbabwe also against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2001. Sri Lanka won by nine wickets and eased home in only 4.4 overs, completing the second fastest run chase ever in ODIs. Zimbabwe regained this dubious record when they capitulated for only 35 against Sri Lanka in the third ODI at Harare in April 2004.

In 2006 Pakistan retained Under-19 World Cup.


Born on this day were: 

Edward Ernest ‘Eddie’ Hemmings (1949-),
English off-spinner who was famously belted for four successive sixes by Kapil Dev at Lord’s; 

Rohan Jaivishwa Gavaskar (1976-), Indian left-handed batsman who is Sunil Gavaskar’s son. (He captained Bengal in 2001-02 and was named after Rohan Kanhai, M.L. Jaisimha and G.R. Vishwanath.)

In 1957 Hugh Tayfield of South Africa took 9 for 113 in the fourth Test against England at Johannesburg. He bowled throughout the last day, sending down 35 eight-ball overs in a row. This was termed as the best bowling performance in Test history by ‘Wisden 100.’

In 1958 the start of the longest Test innings of all time – Hanif Mohammad’s 970-minute marathon for Pakistan at Bridgetown. Following on 473 runs in arrears, Hanif ground down West Indies’ bowlers on his way to 337 made over three days as the match ended in a draw. His captain, Abdul Kardar, encouraged him by leaving notes saying ‘You are our only hope,’ and ‘Keep fighting. Don’t give up,’ stuck to his bedroom mirror.

The end of the road for two of Australia’s greatest cricketers in 1963: 

Robert Neil Harvey and Alan Davidson
played their last day of Test cricket today in the fifth Test against England at Sydney. The series ended 1-1 – the first five-match series in Australia to be drawn. Harvey closed with 6,149 runs and Davidson with 1,328 runs and 186 wickets, the last – A.C. Smith, caught by Bobby Simpson – with his final ball.

In 1964 Salim Durani scored 50 in only 29 minutes, in the fifth Test against England at Kanpur. This was only one minute slower than the fastest Test fifty by J.T. Brown for England against Australia in 1894-95. India, following on after England’s 559 for 8 declared in the first innings, replied with 266. Bapu Nadkarni scored 122 and Budhi Kunderan’s 55 in the second innings made him the first wicket-keeper to score 500 runs in a Test series. This was also the match in which Mansur Ali Khan, Nawab of Pataudi jr. won the toss for the fifth time in the five match series. The match and the series ended in a draw.

In 1968 Mansur Ali Khan, Nawab of Pataudi Jr. led India to its first Test win on foreign soil with a five-wicket win over New Zealand at Dunedin. India won the series 3-1.

In 1974 Pakistani Aftab Baloch made 428 batting for Sind against Baluchistan – the seventh-highest first-class innings of all time. Baloch was already familiar with the record books: when he made his Test debut, aged 16 years 221 days, he was the second- youngest player in Test history.

In 1990 Australian captain Allan Border became the first to appear in 200 ODIs in a match against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In 2007 New Zealand whitewashed Australia 3-0 in one-day series, scoring 350 for nine at Hamilton to complete Australia’s fifth consecutive defeat.

In 2008 The IPL held its player auction in Mumbai. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, bought by Chennai for US$1.50 million, and Andrew Symonds, sold to the Hyderabad franchise for US$1.35 million, received the highest bids. 

A thrilling tie in the fourth ODI between New Zealand and England at Napier, where the hosts got to 340 thanks to 139 by Jamie How. They retained their 2-1 series lead, and beat England in the final game at Christchurch to win the series.


Born on this day were: 

Sudhir Naik (1945-),
Indian opening batsman who was once accused of stealing a pair of socks from Marks & Spencer (on India’s 1974 tour of England); 

Desmond Lewis (1946-), West Indian wicket-keeper whose batting average of 86.33 makes him statistically speaking the best wicket-keeper-batsman of all time; 

John Parker (1951-), New Zealand batsman and occasional wicket-keeper who played 36 Tests; 

Keith Arthurton (1965-), West Indian batsman and only the third Test player from the island of Nevis; 

Micheal Slater (1970-), Australian opening batsman who has a record number of dismissals (nine) in the nineties (He has the number 356 tattooed on his ankle and a personalized number plate reading ‘MS 356’ to mark his place as Australia’s 356th Test cap. It was later discovered that No. 356 was actually Brendon Julian but discussions with the Board allowed him to keep his favoured place); 

Sridharan Sriram (1976-), Indian left-handed batsman who became only the third batsman to achieve 1,000 runs with five centuries in the Ranji Trophy season in 1999-2000 (the others are Rusi Modi in 1994-95 and Ajay Sharma in 1996-97).

In 1898 Clem Hill became the first Australian batsman to reach 1,000 runs in an Australian season during his knock of 170 for South Australia against New South Wales. In 1897-98 he aggregated 1,196 at an average of 66.44 from eleven matches. Archie Maclaren and K.S. Ranjitsinhji also completed 1,000 runs in this season (in England).

In 1986 Richard Hadlee took his 300th Test wicket when he dismissed Allan Border – in the first Test against Australia at Wellington to become the first New Zealand bowler and the sixth overall to reach this milestone. He did it in 15,400 balls in 61 matches.

In 1987 Sunil Gavaskar was dismissed by Imran Khan off the first ball of the third Test at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. This was the third instance in his career; no other batsman has suffered this fate more than once in Test cricket at that time. This was also the first Test at this ground giving Test cricket its 61st venue and the 16th in India. The next day General Zia-ul-Haq watched part of the proceedings as part of his ‘Cricket for Peace’ mission.


Born on this day were: 

George ‘Joey’ Palmer (1859-1910),
Australian off-spinner who played in 17 Tests in the 1880s; 

Jack Robertson (1917-), English batsman who played 11 Tests; 

Ranjit Fernando (1944-), Sri Lankan batsman who is now a famous TV commentator; 

Devon Malcolm (1963-), English pace bowler who played 40 Tests and is best remembered for his 9 for 57 against South Africa at The Oval in 1994; 

Shaun Tait (1983-), Australian pace bowler.

In 1977 West Indies conceded a record 68 extras (29 byes, 11 leg-byes and 28 no-balls) against Pakistan in the first Test at Bridgetown, Barbados. Deryck Murray, the wicket-keeper let 40 byes go past.

In 1990 Ian Smith of New Zealand made 169 not out on the first day of the third Test against India at Auckland. New Zealand were 131 for 7 shortly after lunch but by close of play had reached 387 for 9. He was out for 173 the next day. This is the highest Test score by a No. 9 batsman.

In 1991 Sanath Jayasuriya made his Test debut in the second Test against New Zealand at Hamilton. He made 35 in his only innings. The match ended in a draw.

In 1992 the fifth World Cup began with the opening match between hosts Australia and New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland. The Kiwis won by 37 runs. Hasty rescheduling allowed South Africa a berth in the tournament and all nations played each other for the first time. This opening match saw an important first: it was the first match in any World Cup where the players wore coloured clothing.

In 1993 Vinod Kambli scored 224 in the third Test against England at Bombay. This is the highest individual score by an Indian against England bettering 222 by G.R. Viswanath at Madras in 1981-82 and India’s total of 591 was the highest ever total against England in India. India won by an innings and 15 runs the next day, winning three Tests in a series for the second time (the first instance was in 1967-68 in New Zealand).

In 2003 Shoaib Akhtar bowled a ball at Nick Knight in the World Cup match against England at Cape Town which was timed at 100.23 mph (161.3 km). This surpassed Jeff thomson’s 160.5 km in a Test against West Indies in 1975. The ICC refused to recognize the record because the speed-gun was not officially sanctioned. It is estimated that knight had only one-fourth of a second to face the ball.

In 2004 Zimbabwe’s Andy Blignaut took his country’s first Test hat-trick in the first Test against Bangladesh at Harare when he dinmissed Hanan Sarkar, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahman off consecutive deliveries.