July 20 down the years

Botham's day

Beefy turns it on

A run-a-ball ton when following on and a match haul of seven? No prizes for guessing who the Man of the Match was Adrian Murrell / © Getty Images

The most amazing day of a famously amazing Headingley Test. Ian Botham scored 145 of his 149 not out to give England an outside chance of beating Australia after following on, a chance Bob Willis took with his 8 for 43 the following day. This was also the day when England's odds slipped out to 500-1, an offer that Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh couldn't refuse. Then Botham and Graham Dilley gave it some humpty, and the rest is history.

The innings that put women's cricket into the mainstream once and for all, and took India to their second World Cup final. Harmanpreet Kaur thundered a 115-ball 171 not out in the World Cup semi-final in Derby, against defending champions Australia. It was made all the more impressive because it came in a rain-shortened 42-overs-a-side game; and because she was batting with a dislocated finger, and carrying back and hamstring injuries. She arrived at the crease in the tenth over with the score at 35 for 2 and reached her first fifty off 64 balls, her second off 26, and her third off 17. Half-centuries from Ellyse Villani and Alex Blackwell led Australia's chase of 282, but they fell short by 37 runs.

Birth of that famously combative Yorkshireman Maurice Leyland, who saved the best till last. His final Test innings of 187 was played during a partnership of 382 with Len Hutton at The Oval in 1938, still England's highest stand for any wicket against Australia.

England win an Ashes Test at Lord's after 75 years. And who did they have to thank for it? Andrew Flintoff, of course. Having announced that he would retire at the end of the series, Flintoff had looked feeble till the fourth innings. Australia were set 522 (Andrew Strauss had made 161 earlier) and Flintoff came on to steal the show with his second five-for against Australia (and only his third in all). At the start of the final day, Australia were 313 for 5, but Flintoff had Brad Haddin edge to second slip in the second over and that started a collapse. Soon after lunch, England had taken a lead in the series.

On the first day of the match in Galle, an opening partnership of 193 between Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya set Sri Lanka on the way to their first Test win over South Africa. That only tells half the story, though. Jayasuriya bashed 148 off only 156 balls - 96 of them in a scintillating morning session. Sri Lanka got to 522 - and then came Murali, who brushed South Africa to an innings defeat with 13 for 171.

A day before the second Test after the Covid-19 hiatus, England lost Jofra Archer to a breach of protocol - Archer made a quick visit home between matches, breaking England's biosecure bubble and was put in quarantine - but it didn't seem to make a difference as a rested seam attack, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran, took on an unchanged West Indies. Ben Stokes starred with bat and ball, setting up a stubborn fourth-wicket partnership of 260 with Dom Sibley in the first innings and finishing with 176, and making an equally dogged 78 not out in the third. West Indies' batting never quite rose to the occasion, with Shai Hope disappointing in his second Test in a row. England won by 113 runs, drawing the series level.

Fourteen years later, South Africa won their first Test in Sri Lanka since 2000 with a 153-run trouncing in Galle. Oddly enough it was seamers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel who starred in the win, taking 16 wickets between them. It was Hashim Amla's first Test as captain and he made his mark with an aggressive declaration, giving Sri Lanka four sessions to get 370. His bowlers needed just over two to bowl them out.

Birth of yet another in a long line of Indian medium-pacers who looked promising but couldn't quite make it on the big stage. Debasis Mohanty managed only two Tests and 45 ODIs. He was effective in English conditions and was a last-minute call-up for the 1999 World Cup - where he took his best figures of 4 for 56 against Kenya.

In a one-day international at Trent Bridge, Robin Smith scored a hundred in 101 balls, but India won to take the Texaco Trophy for the first time. It was the story of the Judge's life: all of his one-day hundreds came in England defeats. And only two of his nine Test hundreds came in English victories.

Fakhar Zaman made 210 against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, breaking Saeed Anwar's record for the highest individual ODI score by a Pakistani, of 194, made in 1997. It set Pakistan up for their highest ODI total, 399, and Zaman's stand of 304 with Imam-ul-Haq was a record for the first wicket in ODIs. Zimbabwe folded for 155, handing Pakistan their fourth straight win of the series, which they sealed 5-0 a couple of days later.

Controversial seam bowler Ed Giddins was born. He received an extensive ban for drug use, but took one five-wicket haul in Test cricket, against Zimbabwe at Lord's in 2000. Two Tests and one wicket later, Giddins was dropped.

Birth of the confident and supremely patient Eric Rowan, who was often the mainstay of South Africa's batting. Against England in Johannesburg in 1948-49, he batted for six hours on the last day to make an unbeaten 156 that saved the match. At Headingley in 1951 he followed his Test-best 236 (making him the oldest player to score a double-century) in the first innings with 60 not out in the second. His brother Athol also played for South Africa.

One of the new wave of West Indian fast bowlers, Nixon McLean, was born. Unfortunately his middle names (Alexei McNamara) were more impressive than his Test average (42.56).

Other birthdays
1911 Baqa Jilani (India)
1934 Doug Padgett (England)
1963 Catherine Campbell (New Zealand)
1974 Caroline Salomons (Netherlands)
1975 Atiq-uz-Zaman (Pakistan)