In any sport, records are meant to be broken. But some of them attain cult status and last probably forever. On June 6, 1994, 27 years from this day, legendary West Indies batter Brian Charles Lara did what was considered impossible.
That day, Lara, playing for Warwickshire, absolutely destroyed the Durham bowling attack and became the first-ever player to score 500 runs in a first-class innings. The southpaw bettered Pakistan great Hanif Mohammad's record of 499.
Lara was yet to become that flamboyant, stylish, and dangerous player when Warwickshire signed him. Yes, he made a terrific double hundred in Australia a year earlier but wasn't in particularly good form. When Warwickshire were touring Zimbabwe, Lara was playing for the West Indies against England. He was under the pump, having made only a hundred in the last 11 Tests. But in that series, Lara managed to break the drought with a superb hundred in the second Test and that was enough to tempt Warwickshire to sign him for £40,000.
According to Dennis Amiss, they would have to spend more than twice the amount had they approached him 10 days later. Because just days after he signed the deal, Lara eclipsed Sir Garry Sobers' 365 to become the highest individual scorer in Tests, en route to his 375 against England in Antigua.
Lara had hit a purple patch and would go on to score seven first-class hundreds in eight innings since then.
In that match against Durham, Lara could've been dismissed, not once but twice, before even reaching 20. He was bowled off a no-ball on 12 and dropped on 18 by wicketkeeper Chris Scott. On a flat Edgbaston Wicket, Lara decided to rewrite the history books.
Lara scored at a very rapid pace and smashed as many as 174 runs before lunch on the final day. There was a hiccup when he was on 497. Lara was hit on the helmet and there was a possibility that he could remain not out just three short of 500.
But it was his day and Lara did the unthinkable. He stayed not out on a staggering 501 off 427. His mammoth innings involved 62 fours and 10 sixes.
Since then, no one could get close to that. The closest a batter could get was 400. Guess who did that? None other than Brian Charles Lara.