LAHORE: On 6th June 1994, West Indies great Brian Lara achieved immortality with the highest score in first-class cricket history: 501 not out. As if his Test-record 375 wasn’t enough, Lara took the first-class record within two months when he surpassed Hanif Mohammad’s 499 while playing for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston. He had a few near-misses –– Lara was bowled off a no-ball on 12 and then was dropped by wicketkeeper Chris Scott on 18 (Scott apparently said: “Oh dear, he’ll probably go on and get a hundred”). In all, Lara faced only 427 deliveries, and hammered 62 fours and ten sixes. On the final day he whacked 174 runs before lunch. For good measure, he also became the first man to make seven hundreds in eight first-class innings, the first of which was the 375. He lost his Test record briefly to Matthew Hayden in 2003 but took it back in April 2004 with 400 against England in Antigua. On 6th June 1943, one of Pakistan’s finest batsmen is born in Hyderabad, India. Asif Iqbal came a long way from the 21-year-old who opened the bowling –– with his fellow debutant and future batting star Majid Khan –– and batted No. 10, against Australia in Karachi in 1964-65. In full flow Asif was a sumptuous sight. He made his first Test century from No. 9, 146 against England at The Oval in 1967, but he eventually graduated into the middle order, where his dashing, fleet-footed strokeplay charmed everyone, not least during a successful stint in county cricket with Kent. Former captain Asif, who turns 78 today, inspired many admirers when he was a dashing, handsome cricketer for Pakistan and Kent, and quite a few detractors when his name cropped up in the match-fixing controversy. But the first allegations of match-fixing concerned Pakistan’s 1979-80 tour of India when Asif was captain, and many subsequent ones centred on Sharjah, where Asif presided from the outset as director of cricket. Asif played 58 Tests and 10 ODIs for Pakistan between 1964 and 1980.