That same devastating batsmanship was carried over to Barbados in the very next test where he carried the West Indies to victory in a flawless 153 not out. The jubilant Barbadians took the team and especially Brian Lara around the country in a motorcade for the defeat of the Australians largely through his effort.
Taking it back
In 2004, exactly 10 years after he had broken the world record for individual test score, Lara returned to the same Recreation Ground in Antigua and Barbuda, playing against England once more, and immediately set about going after the new record that had been established by Australia’s Matthew Hayden, six months earlier.
Hayden had established the new record of 380.
The English team had already shown that they had recovered much of their past glory, led by some fiery pace from Harmison. The English team had the West Indies on the run and everything was already lost to them by the time the last test had come around in Antigua and Barbuda.
No one expected Lara’s intentions. But as the now more mature batsman started his innings it was clear that something was afoot, history was in the making.
With each over Lara looked better and eventually amassed 400, to take back his world record in test cricket.
In a series that was bad for the home team there was one redeeming feature, Brian Lara was once more the world record holder and for yet another occasion, the cricketing world stood in awe.
One commentator on the English broadcast team indicated his joy at having been blessed with the opportunity to have witnessed both the 375 and the 400. He acknowledged that Lara could have kept going for another century or more but that was not his intention. There was no challenge in doing that.
He observed, too, that it was a much more measured innings that came from a cricketing genius who had not lost his eyesight, who could demolish any bowling attack and whose immense skills blend with power to make him a rather unique cricketer.