WHEN Durham turn up at Edgbaston for this evening’s NatWest T20 Blast match it would be no surprise if Warwickshire find a way to remind them it’s the 20th anniversary of Brian Lara’s 501 not out.
The individual world record score in a first-class match had stood at 499 since 1959, when Hanif Mohammad was run out trying to get to 500 before the close of play in a match between Karachi and Bahawalpur.
The only reason Lara was able to go for the record was that the captains were unable to agree on setting up a contest on the final day after the third was washed out.
John Morris scored 204 as Durham amassed 556 for eight, then Warwickshire reached 210 for two at the close of the second day with Lara on 111, having survived a regulation chance to wicketkeeper Chris Scott on 18.
He had also been bowled by a no-ball from fellow West Indian Anderson Cummins.
Still trailing by 346, Warwickshire were prepared to declare if Durham would forfeit their second innings and set them a run chase.
But skipper Phil Bainbridge reasoned that, with his predecessor David Graveney in the team but unfit to bowl, it would have been too big a gamble.
Lara had the licence to bat all day and reached 501 out of a total of 810 for four in the final over, which was bowled by Morris as Durham’s frontline bowlers were spent.
Bainbridge took one for 169 and left-arm spinner, David Cox, making his debut, had none for 163.
Although the advent of Twenty20 cricket was still nine years away, Lara’s strike rate as he scored 390 runs in the day would have been more than adequate for the modern crash, bang, wallop.
Warwickshire’s only home match in the competition so far this season, against Yorkshire, was washed out. They were dismissed for 111 to lose by 15 runs at Old Trafford before winning by 25 at Leicester.
They totalled 175 for nine in that match, led by 67 from Will Porterfield, who has often scored one-day runs against Durham, who move on to play at Worcester tomorrow.
With John Hastings now in the team, Durham are hoping to build on a satisfactory start of two wins out of three.
Although Hastings played only one match for Chennai Superkings in the IPL, he is considered something of a T20 specialist.
“I love the traditional form of the game, but my strengths are probably with the white ball,” he said.
He also showed himself to be a formidable striker in making an unbeaten 38 off 25 balls against Middlesex on Monday, with one of his blows over long-on having to be retrieved from a car park.
“I don’t usually play so many shots in four-day cricket, but the situation of the game allowed me to slog,” he said.
Ben Stokes is available after being left out of the England Test squad.
Durham: M D Stoneman (capt), P Mustard, C MacLeod, S G Borthwick, P D Collingwood, B Stokes, G J Muchall, G R Breese, U Arshad, J W Hastings, M A Wood, C Rushworth.