ON THIS DAY IN 1994: For Brian Lara the year 1994 will always remain as a memorable one. The former West Indies skipper’s brilliant run started with a record-breaking triple century in April against England. Lara had scored 375 runs against England in the first innings. But the Trinidad-born batter was in no mood to stop there as just two months later he produced another record-breaking knock. On this day, Lara had achieved a remarkable feat as he notched up the highest first-class score in cricket history. Lara surpassed former Pakistan cricketer Hanif Mohammad’s 499.
While playing for Warwickshire, Lara had scored 501 runs (not out) in a a County Championship match. As Lara celebrates his record-breaking first-class knock today it is time to recall the historic innings.
Winning the toss, Durham skipper Phil Bainbridge decided to bat first and it paid off as they declared after registering a mammoth total of 556/8 in 158.5 overs. For Durham, their batter John Morris (204 runs off 287 balls) scored a double hundred. He also emerged as his side’s highest scorer in the match.
Warwickshire’s innings commenced on a poor note as they lost their first wicket after putting just eight runs on the board. Lara came down to bat at number three. The southpaw initially got a lifeline as he was dropped on 18 by Durham wicketkeeper Chris Scott.
Lara stayed at the crease for 474 minutes and remained not out after scoring 501 runs off 427 balls. His innings consisted of 62 boundaries and 10 sixes. His strike rate was an impressive 117.33 in the innings.
Warwickshire wicketkeeper Keith Piper (116 not out off 151 balls) also scored a century as the Dermot Reeve-led side ultimately declared their innings at 810/4 in 135.5 overs. The match had eventually resulted in a draw.
Overall, in first-class cricket the 53-year-old West Indian batter played 261 matches and amassed 22156 runs at an average of 51.88. Lara has 65 centuries and 88 half centuries to his name in first-class cricket.