On This Day: 19th December in Cricket History

Cricket enthusiasts rejoice as we delve into the annals of cricket history to commemorate the notable events that transpired on December 19th.

1974 – Birth of Ricky Ponting, Australia’s Cricket Maestro

Arguably Australia’s greatest batter since Don Bradman, Ricky Ponting was born on this day in 1974. Despite a slightly shaky start with a dismissal at 96 on his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 1995-96, Ponting etched his name in cricket history. Known for his aesthetically appealing strokes, particularly the swiveling pull shot, Ponting’s career was marked by purple patches and lean spells. He captained Australia to numerous victories, including the World Cup in 2007, but also faced challenges, like losing the Ashes in 2005. Ponting retired from international cricket in December 2012 after a prolonged period of mixed form.

2010 – Sachin Tendulkar’s 50th Test Century

Sachin Tendulkar, the Little Master, added another feather to his illustrious cap on this day in 2010. In a Test against South Africa in Centurion, Tendulkar scored his 50th Test century, setting an almost unattainable record. Despite his remarkable achievement, India lost the Test by an innings as Jacques Kallis notched up his maiden double-century.

2020 – India’s Historic Test Low

December 19, 2020, witnessed a day of horrors for India as they crumbled to their lowest Test total – 36 runs. In the day-night Test in Adelaide against Australia, Indian batsmen faced a relentless onslaught from Australian quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. Hazlewood’s exceptional figures of 5 for 8, the third-most economical five-for by an Australian bowler, propelled Australia to victory within the second session on day three.

1976 – John Lever’s Sensational Test Debut

Left-arm seamer John Lever made a sensational Test debut on December 19, 1976. His performance for England in Delhi, where he claimed 7 for 46, helped dismiss India for 122. This pivotal contribution played a role in England’s victory by an innings, leading to an unexpected series triumph.

1969 – Birth of Indian Wicketkeeper Nayan Mongia

Indian Test wicketkeeper Nayan Mongia was born on this day in 1969. Despite making 107 dismissals in 44 Tests, Mongia is often remembered for off-the-field controversies. His quick reflexes behind the stumps, especially standing up to Anil Kumble, were notable. Mongia’s memorable innings include a match-winning 152 against Australia in 1996.

1966 – Controversial Spinner Rajesh Chauhan’s Birth

Offspinner Rajesh Chauhan, born on December 19, 1966, had a controversial cricket career. His Test recall was marred by an unfortunate encounter with Sri Lanka’s high-scoring batters in 1997-98. Chauhan played a key role in India’s tactic of fielding three specialist spinners at home during the 1990s.

2016 – Pakistan’s Valiant Fightback in Brisbane

On this day in 2016, Pakistan fell 40 runs short of a mammoth 490-run target against Australia in Brisbane. Asad Shafiq led a heroic fightback by the lower order, but Mitchell Starc’s delivery ended Shafiq’s resistance at 137. Peter Handscomb’s maiden Test hundred and Steven Smith’s 130 had given Australia a commanding position.

1916 – Birth of New Zealand Cricketer Merv Wallace

Merv Wallace, born on December 19, 1916, is considered one of New Zealand’s “most underrated cricketers.” Despite scoring two half-centuries on debut at Lord’s in 1937 and an impressive tour of England in 1949, Wallace played only 13 Tests.

1924 – Bill Ponsford’s Debut Test Century

Big Bill Ponsford marked his debut Test innings with a century on December 19, 1924, playing for Australia against England in Sydney. Known for monumental innings, Ponsford went on to become the only batter to score 400 in a first-class innings twice until Brian Lara’s arrival.

1979 – Geoff Boycott’s Stranded 99*

Geoff Boycott became the first man to be left stranded on 99 not out in a Test on December 19, 1979. His obstinate batting efforts couldn’t save England from losing the first Test in Perth against Australia.

2000 – Lara’s Heroics in a Losing Cause

Brian Lara’s majestic 182 couldn’t prevent Australia from taking a decisive 3-0 lead in the series on December 19, 2000. Despite Lara’s brilliance, West Indies succumbed to defeat, highlighting Australia’s dominance.

Other Birthdays on December 19

  • 1846: Harry Charlwood (England)
  • 1953: Paul McEwan (New Zealand)
  • 1955: Susil Fernando (Sri Lanka)
  • 1958: Iqbal Sikander (Pakistan)
  • 1962: Charith Senanayake (Sri Lanka)
  • 1977: Yulandi van der Merwe (South Africa)

As we celebrate these cricketing milestones and birthdays, December 19 remains etched in the rich tapestry of cricket history.

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