Anil's top ten
A day Anil Kumble will never forget. He became only the second man after Jim Laker to take all ten wickets in a Test innings, against Pakistan in Delhi. His 10 for 74 - all ten came in a spell of 18.2 overs for 37 runs - swept India to their first victory over Pakistan in 23 Tests, dating back to 1979-80. With India in a comfortable position, Mohammad Azharuddin instructed Javagal Srinath at the other end to bowl wide of the stumps; he was twice called for wides as a result.
Now that's what you call a fairy-tale debut. West Indies needed 395 in a little over four sessions in Chattogram and they got to the target - the highest chased in Asia - thanks to Kyle Mayers, who made 210 not out and added 216 with fellow debutant Nkrumah Bonner. West Indies, missing several of their first-choice players for the tour because of Covid-19 fears, had been on the back foot for most of the match, but by the start of the final session, they needed 129 to win with seven wickets in hand, and though they lost Bonner and Jermaine Blackwood in quick succession, Mayers wasn't done - at one stage he scored 49 off 40 balls, hitting five sixes and a four - and he eventually scored the winning run. During the course of his innings, he became the only batsman to score a fourth-innings double-century on debut. Spare a thought for Bangladesh offspinner Mehidy Hasan, who made a century from No. 8 and took eight wickets in the match but got no fairy-tale finish of his own.
The day Gus Fraser, having not played Test cricket for two years, huffed and puffed his way to 8 for 53 against West Indies in Trinidad. Fraser added three more wickets in the second innings, but his dropping of David Williams off the first ball of the last day ultimately cost England the match. Williams and Carl Hooper took West Indies to the brink of a thrilling three-wicket victory.
South African Athol Rowan often bowled with a metal leg brace because of injuries sustained in the Western Desert. The younger brother of Eric Rowan, who played 26 Tests for South Africa, Athol was capped 15 times between 1947 and 1951. He had an unusual grip for an offspinner, with his spinning finger along rather than across the seam, and a stumbling run-up as a result of his gammy leg. His finest hour came when he bowled South Africa to a tense victory over England at Trent Bridge in 1951. He died in South Africa in 1998.
A multi-talented sportsman is born. The Honourable Alfred Lyttelton was one of seven brothers who played first-class cricket, and as well as playing four Tests for England, he played football for his country and was an outstanding tennis player. He ended with a freakish bowling average of 4.75 after taking 4 for 19 (one of them caught by stand-in wicketkeeper WG Grace) with underarm lobs while bowling in his wicketkeeping pads - declarations were not permitted in those days, so every Englishman got a bowl - against Australia at The Oval in 1884. He died in London in 1913.
A World Cup win for Australia's women, with England their victims in the final in Christchurch. England pottered to 151 for 5 off 60 overs, and though Australia lost wickets steadily, they had six balls and three wickets left when they got home. That gave them victory in, to give it its full name, the Hansells Vita Fresh Women's World Cup. Catchy.
Vidarbha won their second Ranji Trophy title (and their second on the trot) when they beat Saurashtra by 78 runs in the final. Aditya Sarwate, Vidarbha's slow-left armer, starred with 11 wickets (off a marathon 64 overs) and 49 runs in the second innings. It was quite the comedown for Cheteshwar Pujara, the hero of India's first Test series win in Australia earlier in the season, who made 1 and 0 in the match. It was Saurashtra's third loss in seven Ranji finals.
After twice being runners-up, Perth Scorchers finally got to take home the Big Bash League trophy when they beat Hobart Hurricanes by 39 runs in the final, in Perth. Shaun Marsh, sent home from the South African tour due to a calf injury, did most of the damage, along with his brother Mitch. Happily enough for Shaun, after his title-clinching half-century, he was called up to the Australian squad once again, this time to replace an injured Shane Watson.
An impromptu rest day on what should have been the second day of the fifth Test between India and England, in Madras, following the death of King George VI on February 6.
Aftab Habib, who was born on this day, was picked for the New Zealand series in 1999 despite never having been on an A tour. England probably thought it would be a good chance to ease him in against substandard opposition. It wasn't. After scores of 1, 6 and a horrible 104-ball 19 that was like watching a man on cricketing death row, Habib was dumped.