Super Coach Member
2019 Tipping Competitor
- Nov 17, 2004
In April 2004 Brian Charles Lara returned to St Johns Oval Antigua, a venue where 10 years earlier he had plundered the hapless Poms for what was then a world record test score of 375. Funnily enough it was once again the gormless English that were to be subjected to another Lara batting exhibition, as he set about regaining the record for the highest individual test score. Winning the toss and deciding to bat he was 86 not out at the end of Day 1, he had reached triple figures by the close of play on Day 2. On Day 3, it was in the 202nd over that Lara hit Gareth Batty for a single to bring up his 400. An innings that lasted two minutes shy of 13 hours and saw him become the first player ever to hit a quadruple test century. He faced 582 deliveries and hit 43 fours and four sixes. His record innings still stands, as does his record first class score of 501*.
When he retired less than three years later he finished with nearly 12,000 test runs at an average of over 52. His maiden test century was a masterful 277 against the Aussies at the SCG, which I had the good fortune to witness live. It was an indication of things to come as he had a penchant for going large once he was set, scoring 2 triples and 7 double tons in his test career. In an era blessed with some quality batsmen I'm not sure there were any better than B C Lara in terms of beauty in strokemaking. On his day he was nearly impossible to dismiss and could dissect the best attacks with grace and skill, never looking hurried. It was like he existed in a world where everything happened half a second slower.