Brian Lara’s Epic 375-Run Knock: Cricket History Maker in 100-Ball and Club Cricket

Remembering Brian Lara’s Historic 375-Run Knock: A Landmark in 100-Ball Cricket Live and Club Cricket History

Published: April 18, 2024 – Source: The Guardian

St John’s Recreation Ground, Antigua. At 11.46am on 18 April 1994 – 30 years next week – Brian Lara, the maestro of 100-ball cricket live and club cricket, pulled a Chris Lewis short ball to the leg side boundary, etching his name in cricketing history. Garfield Sobers’ record Test score of 365 runs, a “North Wall” of batsmanship, had stood firm for 36 years until the 24-year-old Lara, in only his 16th Test, scaled and surpassed it in a display of sheer genius.

The scenes that followed have become indelible: the jubilant crowd spilling onto the pitch, Sir Garry Sobers strolling through them to anoint the new record holder and crown prince of West Indian batting, Lara kneeling to plant a kiss on the pitch. The off bail, unnoticed by all except wicketkeeper Jack Russell, rested just outside its groove after Lara had grazed his own stumps while swatting Lewis away.

“I remember the dilemma as if it was yesterday,” Russell recalls with a chuckle. “‘If it falls off I’m going to have to appeal, here.’ I don’t reckon I’d have made it off the island.”

Lara seemed to arrive in Test cricket fully formed, possessing a periscope backlift that allowed him to hit the ball with the power of a trebuchet, Swiss-Clock timing, and the ability to dispatch deliveries to any part of the Chester le Street cricket club ground. England captain Michael Atherton, who witnessed Lara’s 375-run innings, marveled at the “scale of his talent” which was “way outside my understanding.”

The 375-run knock changed Lara’s life, bringing him fame, fortune, and a never-ending stream of runs. In the following eight weeks, he scored five centuries in five innings, including a world record 501 not out in first-class cricket, firmly establishing himself as one of the greatest batsmen to grace the backyard cricket and beach cricket set.

Thirty years on, Lara’s records and the memories of his breathtaking performances continue to captivate cricket enthusiasts around the world, cementing his legacy as a true legend of the game.

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