Lara 375: The progression of Test cricket's record score

By Sports Desk April 18, 2019

Brian Lara made 375 to break the record for most runs in a Test innings 25 years ago - and his unbeaten 400 a decade on remains the highest score today. 

Garry Sobers' 365 not out, set in 1958, was the benchmark in the longest format for 36 years until fellow West Indies batsman Lara surpassed it in the fifth and final Test against England in Antigua.

To mark the 25th anniversary of that feat, we take a look at how the record has progressed through the years.

Charles Bannerman: 165* (Australia v England - March 16, 1877)

The first man to face a delivery in Test cricket went on to score a century in that innings. Bannerman made 165 out of his team's 245 all out before being forced to retire hurt with a hand injury. His innings remains the highest score by an Australian on debut.

Billy Murdoch: 211 (Australia v England - August 12, 1884)

Australia captain Murdoch was the first man to hit a double-century as the visitors made 551 in the third Test. England posted 346 in reply and were made to bat again but they held on for a draw in a three-day contest.

Tip Foster: 287 (England v Australia - December 14, 1903)

Foster, the only man to captain England at both cricket and football, scored an astonishing 287 in Sydney - a figure that remains the highest score for a Test debutant. He helped England reach 577 in a match they won by five wickets.

Andy Sandham: 325 (England v West Indies - April 5, 1930)

The first man to score a Test triple-century underpinned England's 849 - the third highest score of all time - in Kingston. Despite boasting a first-innings lead of 563, England opted not to enforce the follow-on and only drew the match.

Don Bradman: 334 (Australia v England - July 12, 1930)

Nicknamed 'The Don', Bradman's arguably greatest innings came at Headingley when, as a 21-year-old, he made 309 runs on the first day en route to a record-breaking effort. Bradman would score 974 runs in his first Ashes tour.

Wally Hammond: 336* (England v New Zealand - April 1, 1933)

There were 10 sixes and 34 fours in Hammond's rapid knock against New Zealand, the Englishman bringing up his 300 in just 288 minutes out in the middle. Hammond and England had been replying to New Zealand's 158 all out – but the game ended in a draw.

Len Hutton: 364 (England v Australia - August 23, 1938)

A 22-year-old Hutton - playing in just his sixth Test - went on to achieve a record score in a marathon knock that spanned 847 deliveries, helping his team to an eventual 903-7 declared, a total that remains the highest in Ashes Tests. 

Garry Sobers: 365* (West Indies v Pakistan - March 1, 1958)

Ten years before he struck six sixes in an over, Sobers showed he could play a patient innings too, sharing a staggering 446-run partnership with Conrad Hunte for the second wicket. West Indies eventually declared on 790-3 and won by an innings and 174 runs.

Brian Lara: 375 (West Indies v England - April 18, 1994)

Sobers was in attendance in Antigua to see Lara eclipse his score in the fifth Test of a series that West Indies had already wrapped up. Lara was at the crease for over 12 hours and hit 45 boundaries during his 538-ball knock.

Matthew Hayden: 380 (Australia v Zimbabwe - October 10, 2003)

There were 11 maximums and 38 fours in Hayden's total. All five of Zimbabwe's bowlers used in the innings went for over 100 runs each as Australian reached 735-6 declared, setting them on course for an innings victory on the final day of the Test.

Brian Lara: 400* (West Indies v England - April 12, 2004)

Lara reclaimed the record he had initially captured a decade earlier at the same venue and became the first - and to this day only - man to score 400. Lara, 34 at the time, was captain of West Indies and had seen his team lose the series to the touring England side.

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