Brian Lara is regarded as one of the greatest batsman ever to grace the gentleman’s game and his record speaks for itself. On this day, 22 years ago, Lara’s masterclass with the blade helped West Indies trounce South Africa and enter the quarter-final of the ICC World Cup 1996.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, West Indies posted a commanding total of 264/8 in their innings in Karachi. Opener Shivanarine Chanderpaul scored a half-century but it was the innings from Lara that helped the 2-time world champions get to the score that they did eventually.
Lara hit a marvelous ton and scored 111 off just 94 deliveries, which included 16 boundaries. Lara scored at a stunning strike rate of 118, before he was finally dismissed by Pat Symcox. The Windies middle-order and tail failed to add sufficient runs in the end but Lara’s innings had put them in a fighting position in the match.
While chasing, at one point, South Africa looked like they will surpass the Windies score very easily, with Andrew Hudson and Daryll Cullinan scoring half-centuries each.
But all that changed when spinners Roger Harper and Jimmy Adams came onto bowl. The duo shared seven wickets amongst themselves and completely wrecked the South Africa batting line-up. In the end, the Proteas fell short by 19 runs and Lara was awarded the man of the match for his incredible innings.