On this day back in 2003, Matthew Hayden scored a stunning triple century in the first Test against Zimbabwe in Perth to break West Indies legend Brian Lara's long-standing record for the highest individual score in Test cricket. Hayden slammed 380 off 437 deliveries, firing 38 fours and 11 sixes en-route his first Triple ton while surpassing Lara's 375 against England in St. John back in 1994.
In the first innings of the Test match at Perth, Hayden opened the batting alongside Simon Katich. After Katich's early departure, the experienced opener took charge of Australia's innings. He scored his maiden triple century in Tests and became the highest scorer as an opening batsman in Tests as well. With the help of Hayden's historic figure, Australia went on to post a mammoth total of 735/6 and declared the innings. They defeated Zimbabwe by an innings and 175 runs.
The Aussie's record stood for mere five months as Lara reclaimed the top spot with a gigantic 400* against England at the same venue where he scored 375 10 years ago.
A quick glance at Hayden's career, the burly southpaw from Queensland made his Test debut against South Africa in 1994 by replacing injured Mark Taylor. He failed to impress in his first Test match by scoring 15 and 5.
His maiden Test ton came three years later against West Indies (125 in Adelaide). The ton couldn't help save his ouster from the team as he averaged only 24.1 over the six tests, including four ducks, during the period. He was dropped from the team, as the selectors favoured Taylor and Matthew Elliott for the next few years.
During these years, Hayden was a prolific batsman for the Queensland first-class cricket team. His good performances in domestic cricket resulted in a resurrection of his international career. He got selected for the 1999–2000 tour of New Zealand and the following 2000-01 summer against the West Indies. His performance in those series was still unconvincing, but he still got picked for the 2001 tour of India.
On that tour, He scored 549 runs at an average of 109.80. After this series, he became a regular member of the Test Side. He scored over 1,000 runs in 5 consecutive years, the first man to achieve the feat five times. He was selected as one of Wisden's five 2003 Cricketers of the Year.
On 13 January 2009, Hayden announced his retirement from international cricket. With 30 Tests centuries, Hayden is considered one of the best openers to ever played the game.