West Indies great Brian Lara’s unbeaten knock of 400 against England in 2004 is the highest individual Test score. The top-order player batted for nearly 13 hours as he became the first cricketer ever to score 400-plus runs in an international Test.

With Windies electing to bat first against a Michael Vaughan-led England, Lara came into bat at number three  after Daren Ganga was dismissed for 10 runs. And the rest is history.

Brian Lara smashed 43 boundaries and four sixes in his historic knock as West Indies registered a first innings score of 751/5d in their 2004 Test. The team total ended up being one of Windies’ highest Test scores.

However, this wasn’t the first time Lara scored the highest individual Test score. In 1994, the Windies legend hit 375 runs against England at Antigua and broke a 36-year record set by Garfield Sobers in 1958.

The second player on this list is Matthew Hayden. The Australian opener broke Brian Lara’s nine-year record for the highest individual Test score with his knock of 380 against Zimbabwe in Perth in 2003. Put to bat first, hosts Australia rode on Hayden’s first and only triple hundred to pile on a match-winning total of 735/6d.

Fourth on the list, Mahela Jayawardene registered the highest individual Test score by a Sri Lankan cricketer when he hammered 374 runs against South Africa in a 2006 Colombo Test. By doing so, Jayawardene became just the second player after Sanath Jayasuriya (340 vs India, Colombo, 1997) to score a triple century.

Sir Garry Sobers - fifth on our list - previously held the record for highest individual Test score from 1958 to 1994. Sobers, the first player to hit six sixes in an over, remained unbeaten on 365 against Pakistan in the 1958 Kingston Test. Garry Sobers scored his maiden Test century in the match before going forward to add another 265 runs to his impressive innings.

Among Indian cricketers, Virender Sehwag has the highest individual Test score. The legendary India opener scored 319 runs in the 2008 Chennai Test, which the hosts eventually drew against South Africa. What sets this knock apart from Sehwag’s Test centuries is that the opener reached his triple century in 278 balls - the fastest Test triple century by number of balls faced.

Highest individual Test score

Player Opponent Runs Year
Brian Lara England 400* 2004
Matthew Hayden Zimbabwe 380 2003
Brian Lara England 375 1994
Mahela Jayawardene South Africa 374 2006
Garfield Sobers Pakistan 365* 1958
Leonard Hutton Australia 364 1938
Sanath Jayasuriya India 340 1997
Hanif Mohammad West Indies 337 1958
Wally Hammond New Zealand 336* 1933
David Warner Pakistan 335* 2019
Mark Taylor Pakistan 334* 1998
Don Bradman England 334 1930
Graham Gooch India 333 1990
Chris Gayle Sri Lanka 333 2010
Michael Clarke India 329* 2012
Inzamam-ul-Haq New Zealand 329 2002
Andy Sandham West Indies 325 1930
Virender Sehwag South Africa 319 2008
Kumar Sangakkara Bangladesh 319 2014
Chris Gayle South Africa 317 2005

Author: William Paul

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Featured photo: AFP / Arif Ali