The Month In Cricket

The last duck, the first ton

In August there was magic at Edgbaston, The Oval, and in Swansea. And awfulness at Lord's

The Saturday morning crowd at Edgbaston expected just a few minutes of fun as England started the day requiring two wickets to level the series. But the Australians weren't rolling over just yet. Shane Warne and Brett Lee started picking off the 107 they needed, and after Warne's dismissal, Lee and Michael Kasprowicz braved blows to the chest and fingers to add 59 of the most heroic tail-end runs in history. Not another Australia win, the world thought, not again. With three runs to get, Kasprowicz gloved - though possibly the hand was off the handle - a Steve Harmison bouncer to a diving Geraint Jones behind the stumps. The defining image belonged to Andrew Flintoff, who broke off the celebrations to console a crestfallen Lee. When later asked what commiserations Flintoff, who had scored two "Infredible" half-centuries in the match, had offered, Lee suggested he may have whispered: "One-one, you Aussie bastard."
Andrew Flintoff immediately consoles Brett Lee, as England took the final wicket to win, on a nail-biting fourth day at Edgbaston, England v Australia, August 7, 2005 2005:Fred, sweat and tears
The duck that created the most famous fraction in cricket: 99.94. Don Bradman needed four runs in the Oval Test of 1948 to get to 7000 Test runs and an average of 100, but he was bowled second ball by legspinner Eric Hollies. It's possible Bradman was overcome by emotion at receiving a standing ovation from the crowd and three resounding cheers by the England team. "That reception had stirred my emotions very deeply and made me anxious - a dangerous state of mind for any batsman to be in," Bradman later wrote in Farewell to Cricket. "I played the first ball from Hollies, though not sure I really saw it." It was a legbreak; the second a googly that Bradman didn't pick, struck off stump. He walked off in front of a stunned crowd. Just as he got to the dressing room, he said to Keith Miller: "Fancy doing a thing like that!" Nonetheless Australia won the Test by an innings, the series 4-0, and Bradman's Invincibles went down in history.
Don Bradman's Test career ends with a duck at The Oval, England v Australia, 5th Test, The Oval, August 14, 1948 1948:God's own blob
At 17 years and 112 days, Sachin Tendulkar scored his maiden Test hundred, a milestone that, like most others in his career, everyone expected him to have achieved even earlier. It was a match-saving century on a wearing Old Trafford pitch, on which, instead of playing watchfully as he did in the first innings, Tendulkar attacked England's bowlers, especially offspinner Eddie Hemmings, with India set 408 on the final day. He walked back at the end of the Test unbeaten on 119 - the third-youngest century-maker of all time - with few in doubt he would go on to break many records in the years to come.
Sachin Tendulkar cuts on his way to his maiden Test century, England v India, 2nd Test, Old Trafford, 5th day, August 14, 1990 1990:The first of a hundred
Ten years after the first big match-fixing scandal broke, news came that the ongoing Lord's Test was under investigation for spot-fixing. Mazhar Majeed, a Pakistani player agent, had been filmed, in a sting operation by English tabloid News of the World, claiming to have bribed Pakistan's bowlers to bowl no-balls on demand. According to the report, Majeed accepted £150,000 to arrange a fix in which Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif bowled no-balls at specified times the match. He also alleged that Pakistan captain Salman Butt and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal were involved, along with three other unnamed cricketers. The ICC's anti-corruption unit and Scotland Yard began investigations, and in February 2011, Amir, Asif and Butt were banned for five, seven and ten years respectively. Later in the year, a London court found the three guilty and handed jail terms of two years and six months to Butt, one year to Asif, six months to Amir, and two years and eight months to Majeed.
Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif look on, Lord's, August 27, 2010 2010:The sting
Cricket's most enduring rivalry got its nickname after the Oval Test in which Fred "the Demon" Spofforth defended a target of 85 by outwitting the England side for the second time in the match. He took seven in each innings and Australia, incredibly, won by seven runs despite being bowled out for 63 and 122 themselves. The shock win prompted London's Sporting Times to publish a mock obituary for English cricket, and the rest is Ashes history.
1882:The day of the Demon
Garry Sobers became the first batsman to hit six sixes in an over. Captaining Nottinghamshire, Sobers wanted to make quick runs to declare and give his bowlers some time to attack Glamorgan in Swansea. Left-arm seamer Malcolm Nash had taken to bowling spin that day, but the pitch wasn't turning and Sobers had a short leg-boundary to take advantage of. The first ball was heaved out of the ground over midwicket; the second into the stands in the same area; the third over long-on; the fourth over backward square leg, where it cannoned off the concrete terracing and back towards the square-leg umpire. The fifth was smashed over the bowler's head; a fielder caught it but went over the rope. The sixth delivery was quicker and pitched short. Sobers cracked the ball high over midwicket, out of the ground. "On reflection, it wasn't that bad an over. I bowled one really bad ball, the last," Nash said later.
Garry Sobers hits out 1973, England v West Indies, Lord's 1968:Six into six
Colin Cowdrey's slip catch to dismiss Australia's Neil Hawke at The Oval made Fred Trueman the first bowler to take 300 wickets in Test cricket. Trueman, who had missed the previous match at Old Trafford, began the day on 297 wickets, and quickly took that tally to 299, with wickets in consecutive deliveries before the lunch break. Hawke averted the hat-trick but did not survive much longer. The match was drawn and the Ashes stayed with Australia. Asked whether he thought anyone would ever break his record, Trueman is reputed to have replied: "Aye, but whoever does will be bloody tired." Fiery Fred's eventual total of 307 remained the world record until 1975-76, when Lance Gibbs overtook it.
Fred Trueman is congratulated by Colin Cowdrey on taking his 300th Test wicket, England v Australia, The Oval, August 15, 1964 1964:Bowling's first triple-hundred




  • POSTED BY Sanjeev on | October 1, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    In August there was magic at Edgbaston, The Oval, and in Swansea. And awfulness at Lord