This is a historic day in cricket. Exactly 16 years ago on the 12th April cricket legend, Brian Lara had scored the highest ever test innings by any batsmen on the planet. He scored an unbeaten 400 off 582 deliveries, which had 43 fours and four sixes. It happened against England during the fourth Test in Antigua. West Indies declared after scoring 751/5. The match was eventually ended in a draw. But this match will always be remembered for Lara’s batting record in Test cricket. Before coming to this match, the West Indian great had a poor series. He was struggling with the bat. He just scored 100 runs with the highest score of 36. But Antigua Test changed it all.
Brian Lara’s previous test record was broken by Australian batsman Mathew Hayden. He scored 380 runs against Zimbabwe in Perth Test. But Lara broke that record again and became the highest individual scorer in a Test match innings. This record is still intact. Coming back to that great innings, Lara scored 86 runs on the first day. At the end of the second day, he remained not out at 313. He reached historical 400 runs after lunch on day 3. Apart from an early caught behind appeal by Steve Harmison and a run-out chance at 127, His innings was very clean and a treat to watch. On way to reach 400, Lara had partnerships of 232 run for the third wicket with Ramnaresh Sarwan and 282 run partnership with Ridley Jacobs, who also scored a hundred in the match.
Brian Lara’s marathon innings of 400 are still considered as one of the greatest Test innings of all time. Though former Australia captain Ricky Ponting had a different take on it. “It’s generally not the way we play our cricket. Their whole first innings might have been geared around one individual performance and they could have let a Test match slip because of it. They ran out of time in the game – that’s not the way the Australian team plays,” Ricky Ponting had opined about Lara’s innings, as quoted by India Today.