New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) 16 years ago on this day, West Indies great Brian Lara became the first, and thus far the only, batsman to score 400 runs in a single innings in Test cricket. With West Indies staring at a whitewash at home against England, captain Lara scored an unbeaten 400 off 582 balls to set his side on their way to a draw in the fourth Test in Antigua.
Lara’s previous record of highest Test score was broken only six months before that match by Australia’s Matthew Hayden who scored 380 against Zimbabwe in Perth. Lara himself came into the match in poor form, scoring just 100 runs in the series before that with a best score of 36.
Lara scored 86 at the end of the first day and by the end of the second, he was on 313. He survived an early appeal by Steve Harmison for caught behind, a run out call when he was on 127 and another caught behind off Gareth Batty when he was on 373.
His biggest partnerships in the innings was a 232-run stand with Ramnaresh Sarwan for the third wicket and the unbeaten 282-run partnership with Ridley Jacobs, who himself scored a century. It was after Lunch on Day 3 that Lara had reached 400.
He had faced 582 deliveries, hit 43 fours and four sixes and batted for just under 13 hours. West Indies declared on 751/5 and the match eventually headed to a draw with England batting out their two innings.
Since then, Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene came closest to the mark in 2006 when he scored 374 as part of the world record 624-run stand he shared with Kumar Sangakkara against South Africa.