For a player who had featured in more than 1000 matches, Derek Underwood had to wait for 22 years before notching up his maiden century. Today was the day in 1984 when Underwood finally broke the jinx and went on to score his maiden first-class century. A prolific wicket-taker, both in the county circuit and also for England, Underwood brought up his first century against Sussex on this day in 1984.
This remained his only century. In a glittering career for Kent, this innings became the headline as he scored 111 runs. He was born on June 8, 1945 and he started his professional career in 1963.
A stupendous bowler, a dazzling career
Underwood made his Test debut against West Indies in 1966 and went on to play 86 Test matches and 26 ODIs for his country. He was a veteran in the first-class circuit as he featured in 676 first-class matches and 411 List A encounters.
In 86 Tests he picked up 297 wickets at an average of 25.83. In 26 ODIs he bagged 32 wickets while in 676 first class matches he picked up 2465 wickets at an astounding average of 20.28.
For his prowess in helpful conditions, he was nicknamed the “Deadly” by his Kent team-mates as he wreaked havoc on rain-affected pitches. He was unnervingly accurate and he could switch between left-arm spinner, pace and when the pitches offered assistance, a truckload of wickets were almost guaranteed.