Brian Lara: Recalling his extraordinary unbeaten 400 Test knock against EnglandAiden Ellis |
Even if you are not a staunch cricket fan, there is a strong possibility you will have heard of Brian Lara. The West Indies legend transcended the game, and he is often held in the same regard as his peers Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar were for Australia and India respectively.
Lara was one of the most gifted batsmen of his generation, and he accumulated huge scores with the same pomp and elegance that a certain Donald Bradman did when he turned out for the Aussies in the Test arena.
There was something electrifying about the way Lara went about his business, and he was never one to shirk a challenge. He was always happy to give it to a bowler, and he was mesmerising to watch.
It is nearly 19 years ago, well April 12 to be more precise since Lara became the first man to score 400 runs in a Test match innings against England. Even some of the current crop of top players in the world don’t shine a torch to Lara.
With that in mind, we have decided to reminisce and look back on one of the finest batting performances in the Test environment.
400 not out
It almost seems unfathomable to explain how a batsman could hit 400 runs and not be defeated, but that’s what Lara managed to do at the Antigua Ground in St John’s.
Although Lara had presided over three crushing Test losses against England, a whitewash seemed like a distinct possibility. Up until that point, Lara had been struggling for runs, registering scores of 23, 0, 0, 8, 36, and 33.
However, Lara responded in the best possible way. After batting for 13 hours, Lara reached the 400-run milestone, having notched up an incredible 43 fours and four sixes.
When he reached the landmark, he whipped off his helmet, whirled his bat above his head, and knelt down before kissing the pitch. There would have of course been some relief, but it was an extraordinary relief, and he was later given a guard of honour for his efforts.
While a 400 not out score is a brilliant standalone score, Lara actually reclaimed his own Test record. With his quadruple century, Lara eclipsed Matthew Hayden’s 380 in Perth in 2003.
There have been various other notable feats in Lara’s career and he has been immortalised away from the game. This is certainly the case insofar as cricket and the convergence of video games are concerned. Brian Lara Cricket was a very well received PlayStation game that had many fans hooked and it showcased the best of his talents. And now gamblers who enjoy playing slot titles, and particularly sports-based ones, can tap into Brian Lara: Sporting Legends at some of the best UK slot sites, including Casumo.
Inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2012, Lara produced moments of greatness on a regular basis, and he was a joy to watch when he was in full flow.
Although it seems scarcely believable that it was virtually 19 years ago that Lara hit 400 not out, it was one of those indelible moments that staunch cricket fans won’t forget.