The day a 17-year-old record was broken. It was a rude beginning to the new year for West Indies’ bowlers as New Zealand’s Corey Anderson ransacked a century off just 36 balls in a shortened ODI in Queenstown. He blasted 14 sixes, two behind Rohit Sharma’s world record 16, on his way to eclipsing the record set by a 16-year-old Shahid Afridi in 1996. Anderson made best use of the short boundaries and raced to his fifty in 20 balls. He stood at 95 at the start of the 18th over. The first ball from Nikita Miller was short and Anderson duly pulled a six over long-on. Anderson remained the record-holder for only a year, though. In Johannesburg in January 2015, AB de Villiers broke it with a 31-ball hundred, also against West Indies.
One of the greatest of all Test careers began. The wide open spaces of the MCG held no terrors for Jack Hobbs, who scored 83 in his first Test knock. He went on to become the first batsman to score 5000 Test runs, and his other feats would take forever to list. Try virtually any page in the first-class batting section of the Wisden Almanack.
Birth of the greatest one-eyed cricketer of Norwegian descent to play in a Test. Eiulf Peter “Buster” Nupen was regarded as one of the best bowlers ever seen on South African matting, and he might have had better Test figures than 50 wickets at 35.76 if he’d had a full complement of eyes. He lost one as a young man while trying to knock two hammers together. Probably better not to ask.
The last of the top underarm lob bowlers made a successful start to his only Test series. A weak England team, stuffed with amateurs, couldn’t avoid defeat in Johannesburg, but a first-innings haul of 6 for 43 by one of those unpaid workers, George Hayward Thomas Simpson-Hayward (better known as George Simpson-Hayward), made it a close-run thing.
Another memorable debut, this time in Cape Town, where George Macaulay dismissed George Hearne with his first ball in Test cricket. Macaulay later made the winning hit in England’s very narrow victory.
The late 1960s was the golden age of stadium riots on the subcontinent. One of them forced the cancellation of today’s play between India and West Indies in Calcutta. Clashes with police, stands set alight: nothing unusual for the time. It didn’t affect the result, though – West Indies thumped India by an innings, with seven wickets each for Messrs Sobers and Gibbs.
Batting for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh in Delhi, Ravi Sehgal made 216, his maiden first-class hundred, and helped Raman Lamba (312) put on 464, a first-wicket record for any first-class match in India. The match was distinctly one-sided: Himachal Pradesh were dismissed for 205 and 122 and lost by an innings and 310 runs.
Vidarbha won their maiden Ranji Trophy title after beating Delhi by nine wickets in their first final appearance in 61 seasons, in Indore. Medium-pacer Rajneesh Gurbani took a six-for, which included a hat-trick, and wicketkeeper-batsman Akshay Wadkar scored his first hundred, in only his fifth first-class game. Thirty-nine-year-old Wasim Jaffer was able to maintain his 100% win record in Ranji finals after previously having been on the victorious side eight times with Mumbai.
Despite an undistinguished Test career (a single appearance at The Oval in 1934), Hans Ebeling, who was born today, played a major part in a big Test occasion. He was the prime mover behind the Centenary Test in Melbourne in 1976-77.
Birth of West Indian opener Charlie Davis, whose last Test hundred was his biggest: 183 against New Zealand in Bridgetown in 1971-72, when he put on 254 with Garry Sobers. He’d been almost impossible to dismiss in the 1970-71 series against India (again at home), averaging 132.25.
Genuinely useful but injury-prone seamer Khan Mohammad was born. Often Fazal Mahmood’s foil in Tests for Pakistan, the two were just about the only bowlers left standing when Garry Sobers made his world record 365 not out in Kingston in 1957-58. Khan Mohammad’s figures of 0 for 259 are the worst in any Test innings by a wicketless bowler – but his 54 Test wickets cost only 23.92 each and he had figures of 5 for 61 (including Len Hutton for a duck) at Lord’s in 1954 and 6 for 21 against New Zealand in Dacca in 1955-56.
The first Bangladesh bowler to take a hat-trick, Alok Kapali, was born today. That feat came in Peshawar in 2003 – when he helped Bangladesh gain their maiden first-innings lead. Kapali scored his maiden ODI hundred in 2008, against India in the Asia Cup in Karachi, but his international career was put on hold when he joined the ICL in 2008. However, he quit after a season and made himself available for selection again.
Another Bangladeshi born on New Year’s Day. Rubel Hossain made memorable debuts in ODIs and Tests – in a rare one-day win for his side, over Sri Lanka in Mirpur in 2009, and in their historic Test series win in West Indies later that year. He sunk New Zealand in an ODI in Mirpur in 2013 with 6 for 26 and famously took Bangladesh into the 2015 World Cup quarter-finals with a four-for. He was first spotted at a pace-hunt programme, and went the Under-19 route before establishing himself in the national side.
And another. Bangladesh fast bowler Mushfiqur Rahman, whose ten-Test, 28-ODI career progressed much like his team’s faltering steps in international cricket was also born today. After going wicketless in his first two Tests, in Zimbabwe in 2001, Rahman was dropped for two years. His comeback in 2003-04 didn’t grab headlines either; his career-best figures were 4 for 65 against West Indies in a Test in St Lucia in 2004, and though he had a few scores in the 40s in Tests and ODIs, he never got a fifty in either format.
1875 Frank Druce (England)
1909 Dattaram Hindlekar (India)
1949 Bev Wilson (Australia)
1963 Glenn Trimble (Australia)
1964 Nasir Ahmed (Bangladesh)
1968 Ilyas Gull (Hong Kong)
1970 Robin Singh Jr (India)
1975 Neeymur Rashid (Bangladesh)
1978 Uzma Gondal (Pakistan)
1981 Asma Farzand (Pakistan)
1986 Elias Sunny (Bangladesh)
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