One of the most emotional days in cricket history, as South Africa played their first international match for 21 years, against India in Calcutta. Global opposition to apartheid had seen South African cricket ostracised since they beat Australia in 1969-70, but four months after rejoining the ICC they began a speedily arranged tour with this one-dayer. India's victory was more comfortable than the three-wicket margin suggested, despite Allan Donald announcing himself to the world with 5 for 29. Defeat hardly mattered, though, and South Africa's captain Clive Rice, whose three matches on this short tour were his only official internationals, summed up everyone's feelings when he said, "I know how Neil Armstrong felt when he stood on the moon."
Bangladesh became the tenth member to join cricket's top table when they began their inaugural Test against India in Dhaka, and for three days they acquitted themselves admirably. Aminul Islam's nine-hour 145 helped them to 400, and they would probably have taken a first-innings lead but for a seventh-wicket stand of 121 between Sourav Ganguly (84) and Sunil Joshi (92). But facing a deficit of only 29, Bangladesh fell apart. They were skittled for 91 and India motored to a nine-wicket victory off the last ball of the fourth day. Amazingly, it was only India's second victory in 50 overseas Tests, going back to 1986.
New Zealand made their third ICC final in three years when they beat England by five wickets in the T20 World Cup semi-final in Abu Dhabi. England looked safe when New Zealand needed 57 off the last four overs, but Jimmy Neesham took them for 23 runs in the 17th. By the time his game-changing cameo ended, New Zealand needed only 20 off the last two. Opener Daryl Mitchell, who had shepherded the 167-run chase, but hadn't been his usual belligerent self in the innings till then, closed it out with an over to spare. England hadn't batted in their natural attacking style either, choosing a more circumspect approach till Moeen Ali's unbeaten 51 off 37 balls took them to what seemed like a defendable total, especially on an evening that had no dew to aid New Zealand's chase.
An average of 47 from 29 Tests proves that Seymour Nurse, who was born today, was right out of the top drawer. He was a middle-order stroke-maker from Barbados who didn't really establish himself until the 1966 West Indies tour of England, when he was 32. Nurse then passed 50 five times in as many Tests, and though he hammered 137 at Headingley, his best innings probably came at Trent Bridge, where he thumped a majestic 93 in trying circumstances. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1967, and finished his Test career with a magnificent 258 in Christchurch in 1968-69.
The Mumbai Indians established themselves as one of most dominant franchises in T20 cricket when they beat the Delhi Capitals by five wickets in Dubai to seal their fifth IPL title. Mumbai was far and away the best team of the tournament, played in a bubble in the UAE during the coronavirus pandemic, and on this day, they showed how far above the rest they were. Trent Boult sent back the Capitals' MVP, Marcus Stoinis, with the first ball of the match, and reduced them to 22 for 3 inside four overs. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant led a middle-order recovery to take the Capitals to a total of 156, but Mumbai knocked off 61 of those runs in the powerplay, with the Capitals forced to use five bowlers in those six overs. Rohit Sharma made 68 and Ishan Kishan, Mumbai's leading run getter for the season, 33, to finish the match with eight balls to spare.
The fastest hundred for a South African batter, in Cape Town. Jimmy Sinclair took out the frustration of impending defeat in the third Test to Australia by slamming a century in just 80 minutes, including six sixes. Sinclair had made a century in the previous match, in Johannesburg, too, but that game ended like this one, in defeat. Here South Africa followed on after being skittled for 85, and despite Sinclair's assault they were only able to set Australia a measly victory target of 59 - which was chased down in less than ten overs.
Shai Hope was born this day in Barbados, and 21 years later made his West Indies Test debut as a highly regarded young talent. Two years on, he made the world sit up when he became the first player ever in first-class cricket to score two centuries at Headingley, setting up a storied Test win for West Indies, who had been thrashed by an innings in the previous match of the series. In 2019, just before the World Cup, Hope and John Campbell set a new ODI record for the opening wicket, making 365 against Ireland in Dublin. But Hope didn't fire at the main event, although he did manage three half-centuries.
Medium-pacer Deepak Chahar broke the record for the best bowling figures in men's T20Is when he took 6 for 7, which included the first hat-trick in the format by an Indian, in a series-clinching win over Bangladesh, in Nagpur. Defending a target of 175, Chahar dismissed Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar off successive balls in his first over, and took another wicket when he returned to the attack in the 13th. In his third spell, Chahar had Shafiul Islam caught off the final ball of his third over, and wrapped up the game with the first two balls of the final over, having Mustafizur Rahman caught at deep point and Aminul Islam bowled by a yorker.
Few would have fancied being an Australian batter in the first Test against West Indies, as Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Courtney Walsh eyed up a damp, uneven Perth surface with a score of 416 to defend. The Aussies were duly blown away in less than two hours for 76, with Holding taking 6 for 21. The bowling was frightening, the catching brilliant, and the Wisden Almanack said West Indies were "irresistible". Australia made a better fist of things second time round - even Terry Alderman managed 23 - but they were only delaying the inevitable, and West Indies wrapped up an innings victory with a day to spare. It was their ninth win in a row, a record that they would extend to 11 and which would last until Australia turned the tables and surpassed it by hammering West Indies in 2000-01.
A 384-run defeat for England in Brisbane and you could argue it was lost at the toss. Wisden called Nasser Hussain's decision to put Australia in on the first morning of the Ashes "one of the costliest decisions in Test history". Matthew Hayden fell three short of a double-century in the first innings - while adding 272 with Ricky Ponting (123) - and scored 103 in the second. After conceding a first-innings lead of 167, England were set to chase 464 in less than a day. They were bowled out for 79. Australia won the series 4-1. The only excuse Hussain had for the loss was the horrific injury to Simon Jones on the first day.
Aftab Ahmed, who was born today, first came to the attention of the Bangladesh selectors when he scored 79 against South Africa in the Under-19 World Cup in 2002, and the following year he was included in the Test squad to face England. Known more as a one-day dasher, he played 14 Tests and 80 ODIs, most notably finishing off Bangladesh's historic one-day win over Australia in Cardiff by smashing Jason Gillespie for a four and six. A handy bowler, his one-day best of 5 for 31 came against New Zealand in November 2004.
A remarkable batting performance gave Australia a six-wicket victory over Pakistan in the third one-dayer in Lahore. For the first time, four batters made hundreds in an ODI: Ijaz Ahmed and Yousuf Youhana for Pakistan, and Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting for the Aussies. Pakistan made 315 for 8, but Australia overhauled that with chilling efficiency, sealing victory with seven balls to spare. In the process they equalled the highest score at the time to win a one-dayer batting second: India made 316 for 7, also against Pakistan, in Dhaka in 1997-98.
1918 Martin Hanley (South Africa)
1972 Naeem Ashraf (Pakistan)
1973 Zahid Fazal (Pakistan)
1978 Mafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)