How would you define the elegance of Brian Lara? Former Australia cricketer Steve Waugh once remarked: “He is charming, vulnerable, endearing, moody and impossible to work out at times and endlessly fascinating.”
Twenty-four years ago, on this day, the stylish southpaw from West Indies achieved immortality. The world couldn’t believe that a batsman can score 500-plus runs and still not be dismissed.
Barely two months from registering the record-breaking triple, 375, against England in Antigua, Lara smashed an unbeaten 501 for Warwickshire against Durham in the County Championship in Birmingham. He surpassed Hanif Mohammad’s 499 to clinch the ‘most runs in an innings in a first-class match’ record.
In the not-so-typical red ball innings, Lara found the boundary 72 times — 62 fours and 10 sixes — in 427 balls.
Lara had a narrow escape when he was bowled off a no-ball on 12. When batting on 18, wicketkeeper Chris Scott dropped him.
He raced to 500 off a stylish drive through the covers off John Morris.
Lara had an uncanny gift of registering records and Antigua remained his happy hunting ground.
After losing the 375 feat to Australian opener Matthew Hayden — who scored 380 against Zimbabwe in October 2003 in Perth — he bettered his statistics smashing a 400 not out against England in April 2004 in Antigua.