On this day, over two decades ago, a modern-day batting genius – Brian Lara – made his Test debut for West Indies against Pakistan in Lahore. Lara made his red-ball debut at the age of 21 during the last Test match of the three-match series between Pakistan and the West Indies. The left-handed batting icon scored just 49 runs (first and second innings combined) in his first appearance in the whites for the West Indies but even then there was a certainty in his shot selection and aura of a star in making.
However, Lara’s debut match was not a memorable one for his side as it ended in a draw and in the process the three-match series ended in a tie at 1-1, forcing West Indies and Pakistan to share the honour.
After winning the toss, then West Indies skipper Desmond Haynes opted to bat, a decision not well supported by his top-order batters as they lost their top three for just 37 runs. Imran Khan then Pakistan skipper gave his side the first breakthrough by removing his counterpart from the attack. After that, Wasim Akram trapped Richie Richardson in front of the wickets before Imran Khan returned to dismiss Gordon Greenidge to further dismantle visitors’ innings.
Batting at number four Lara along with Carl Hooper added 95 runs for the fourth wicket to stabilise Windies innings before he was removed from the attack by Abdul Qadir. Hooper, meanwhile, continued his assault from the other end as he went on to score 134 runs and in the process took the tourist to the respectable total of 294 runs.
In reply, Pakistan failed to cash in on the home advantage as they were bundled out for 122 runs, giving WI a 177 runs lead.
The West Indies side failed to replicate their first innings performance as they were bundled out for 173 runs during their second innings, giving Pakistan 346 runs target to win the match.
It was almost impossible for Pakistan to win this game as scoring 347 runs in the fourth innings is not an easy task for any side. So, they went for the second-best option – draw and were successful in their efforts.