Colin Cowdrey played his 100th Test match against Australia in Birmingham. Every budding cricketer wants to play Test cricket for their national team. However, only a few are lucky enough to do so. And, very few of them go on to play 100 Test games for their country. So far, only 70 cricketers in the world have played 100 games in the longest format of the game and 15 of them are from England.
Interestingly, the first man to play 100 red-ball games was also from England. Colin Cowdrey was the first player to complete 100 caps in Test cricket. And, he achieved this historic feat on this day, 53 years ago.
What makes his achievement even more special is that he reached the milestone during the 1968 Ashes against their bitter rival Australia. In the 1968 Ashes, Cowdrey had drawn the attention of the entire world as he was on the verge of touching a landmark that no one had ever done before him.
In the first match of the series, England were hammered by 159 runs at Old Trafford. They managed to pull things back in the second game at the Lord’s but Australia went away with a draw after rain played spoilsport.
Cowdrey made his 100 appearance during the third Test match of the series at Birmingham. England opted to bat first after the first day of the match was washed out. Cowdrey made the most of his special day by smashing 104 from 247 balls. Riding on Cowdrey’s hundred, England posted 409 for the loss of ten wickets in the morning session of the third day.
Cowdrey also became only the second player to cross the mark of 700 runs in Test cricket during the Birmingham Test. In reply, Australia were bowled out for 222 runs. Cowdrey did not bat in the second innings as England scored 142/3 in 42 overs before declaring their innings, setting a target of 330 runs in front of the visitors. In the fourth innings, Australia scored 68/1 in 28.2 overs before the game was declared a draw.