Happy birthday Brian Lara: Top 5 Innings of the West Indies Legend

The West Indies batting great Brian Lara turned a year older today, May 2nd. Lara is counted among the greatest batsmen in world cricket. He is also Windies’ leading run-getter in the Test.

Lara amassed 11,953 runs in the longest format of the game in 131 Tests with the help of 34 hundred, nine double centuries and 48 fifties. His highest score in test cricket is 400, which is also a world record.

Lara played several ground-breaking innings in his 17-year-long carrier, on his birthday, here we take a look back at his five best knocks:

Lara’s unbeaten 153 run knock against Australia in 1999 in the 4th innings of the third Test match in Bridgetown is considered the best knock of his carrier. Australia posted a mammoth total of 490 for the loss of ten wickets in the first innings. Windies were bowled out for 329 in the second. However, the visitors manage to restrict the host to 146 in the third innings of the match.

West Indies were given 308 runs target in the last innings and were left reeling at 105/5 before Lara took charge of the match. He scored 153 runs off 256 balls with the help of 19 fours and one sixes and guided his side to a one-wicket win over Australia.

The former West Indies skipper had a knack for scoring big runs and his maiden Test hundred was a testimony of the same. Lara’s first Test century came in only his fifth test match in 1993 and it was against the mighty Australians at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Batting first, Australia posted a total of 503 runs for the loss of nine wickets before declaring. Chasing 503, Windies openers fell cheaply and was left


reeling at 31/2.

After two early wickets, Lara along with Sir Richie Richardson took charge of their innings and took Windies to 324/3. Lara went on to score 277 runs in that game with the help of 38 fours. 

In 2004, the Caribbean batting maestro defied all odd against a formidable South African bowling attack, comprising Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini and Jacques Kallis, to score 115 in Cape Town Test. Batting first, South Africa posted 532 runs, and many believed that South Africa would win the match by bowling out visitors within a day.

However, Lara along with Gayle held West Indies’ the fort as the West Indies replied with 427. The match ended in a draw.

Brian Lara scripted history at St. John’s ground in the year 1994, when he notched up then the highest individual score in test cricket. Lara scored 375 runs against England and in the process broke Sir Garfield Sobers’ record.

Sobers’ had scored an unbeaten 365 against Pakistan in 1958 and before Lara’s feat, this was the highest individual score in Test. Lara’s 375 run knock was laced with 45 boundaries. Lara’s record stood for the next ten years before Matthew Hayden surpassed his tally with a 380 run knock against Zimbabwe.

Just six months (2004) after Hayden surpassed Lara’s highest individual record, the West Indies legend reclaimed his spot by scoring the first-ever quadruple century in red-ball cricket.

Lara scored the first 400 in world cricket at St. John’s ground against England with 43 fours and four sixes.