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The Heavy Ball

BC Lara not out 400

Our intrepid commentary duo were in St John's when the record for the individual score in Test cricket was broken

Alex Bowden
Brian Lara after leaves the field reclaiming the world record

Lara's 400 was a better innings than Ridley Jacobs' hundred, but there wasn't much in it  •  Getty Images

Stuart: Lara sweeps and there it is - 400. Have you got some statistics for us, Gordon? When was the last time someone scored 400 in a Test match?
(Muffled speech in the background)
Stuart: No, I meant an individual. It's not so unusual for a team to score 400.
(More muffled speech )
Stuart: No, Gordon, there isn't a batsman called Australia. I'm quite certain of that. That's a team of 11 players representing the nation of Australia.
(Muffled speech )
Stuart: Really? No one's ever done it before? Are you sure? What did Boycott get against New Zealand in Wellington in '78?
(Muffled speech )
Stuart: Caught off Collinge for 77? Oh… I thought it was much more than that. It seemed much more than that. So no one's ever made 400 until now. How bizarre. What are the chances?
Ash: Yeah, first time, Stu, but not an innings that'll live long in the memory.
Stuart: Really? You don't think?
Ash: It was a solid effort, but look at the strike rate. He was barely scoring at four an over.
Stuart: I think that's quite quick scoring. Gordon, could you give us the average strike rate for Test cricket?
Ash: He's only hit four Global Banking Incorporated Sixers in his entire innings - one per hundred.
Stuart: It's not all about sixes, Ash.
Ash: Tell that to Ridley Jacobs. He's hit three sixers in an innings of 107.
Stuart: Are you saying that Jacobs' is the better innings?
Ash: Pound for pound, the keeper's played the better knock here, Stu.
Stuart: That's preposterous. Besides, you pointed to Lara's strike rate. Lara's scored his runs at a faster rate than Jacobs, so even on that basis, his is the better innings.
Ash: But how many sixers has he hit?
Stuart: Four.
Ash: And how many has Jacobs hit?
Stuart: Three.
Ash: Okay, I'll give you that. Lara's innings is one better than Jacobs, but it's still nothing to write home about.
Stuart: You can't measure an innings in sixes, Ash.
Ash: A sixer is a unit of measurement.
Stuart: No, a run is a unit of measurement. A six is - well - it's six units.
Ash: So one sixer is worth six?
Stuart: Of course.
Ash: So it's more important than a run, then.
Stuart: I guess you could say it's six times as important.
Ash: Exactly. I couldn't have put it better myself. The game's all about sixers, Stu. That's what gets the fans in.
(Muffled speech )
Stuart: No Gordon, that's not what strike rate is. When a batsman doesn't come to the crease, it's rarely as a result of industrial action.
Ash: Worst quadruple-hundred I've ever seen in a Test match.
Stuart: Okay, it's been a long, hot day and we're all a bit grumpy. Why don't we celebrate Lara's achievement - no matter how significant it proves to be - with a nice slice of battenburg? How does that sound?

Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket.
All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?