Canberra: West Indies opener Chris Gayle became the first batsman to score a World Cup double century when he made 215 against Zimbabwe in a Pool B clash in Canberra on Tuesday.
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Gayle, who might have been given out lbw before he had scored, brought up his first double century in 226 one-day internationals off just 138 balls including nine fours and 16 sixes.
The 35-year-old Jamaica left-hander’s innings of 215 surpassed the previous World Cup best of 188 not out by South Africa’s Gary Kirsten against the United Arab Emirates at Rawalpindi in 1996.
Gayle was eventually out off the last ball of the innings, having faced 147 balls, with 10 fours and 16 sixes with his team on 372-2.
His tally of sixes equalled the record for the most in an ODI innings held jointly by South Africa’s AB de Villiers and India’s Rohit Sharma.
It was also only the fifth double century in all ODI cricket and the first by a non-Indian, with Rohit Sharma (two), Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag the only other batsmen to achieve the feat.
Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who scored 133 not out himself, also set a new partnership record for any ODI wicket.
Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who scored a century himself, also set a new partnership record for any ODI wicket, surpassing the 331 shared by India’s Rahul Dravid and Tendulkar against New Zealand at Hyderabad (Deccan) in 1999.
Gayle, who was struggling with the batting form, made a stunning comeback like only he could. While it put his team in a dominating position, it gave the West Indian fans a sense of great joy.
Chris Gayle returned to form with a trademark century off just 105 balls to give the West Indies a solid platform in their World Cup clash against Zimbabwe in Canberra on Tuesday.
Left-handed opener Gayle looked back to his menacing best with five powerful sixes in his first one-day international century since June 2013.
The powerful hitter treated the Zimbabwean bowlers with disdain as he recaptured his best form after scoring just 36 and four in his first two knocks at the World Cup.
It was the 35-year-old Gayle’s 22nd ton in his 266th ODI for the West Indies.
But the big Jamaican, whose innings saw him score his 9,000th ODI run, looked fortunate to survive a contentious referral for lbw when he was still on nought.
Gayle and Marlon Samuels took the West Indies into a commanding position after they lost opener Dwayne Smith for a two-ball duck.
Samuels was rather more sedate than Gayle, with his fifty coming off 95 balls.
Chris Gayle was caught after he scored a hundred but he was lucky as once it was a no-ball and then it was a free-hit delivery.
Both teams lost their opening match of the tournament but won their second and whoever wins the 45th one-day international between the two will move to second spot in the pool behind India.
“We’re going to bat first, it seems to be a pretty good wicket,” Holder said. “We’ve played here before and done well when we’ve batted so hopefully we’ll put some runs on the board.
“Our top four batters have started to set it up but not carried on so we’re stressing to them to just carry it on.”
As expected, Darren Bravo missed the match because of a low-grade hamstring tear he sustained during the emphatic victory over Pakistan in Christchurch on Saturday that revived West Indies’ campaign after the opening defeat to Ireland. Jonathan Carter replaced Bravo in the playing XI.
Tall spinner Sulieman Benn was also ruled out with a recurring back problem and Nikita Miller get his chance to show off his left-arm orthodox spin.
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said he too would have batted had he won the toss and he was also forced to make one change to his side.
All rounder Solomon Mire has been ruled out so Stuart Matsikenyeri gets to play his first one-day international in more than three years.
Zimbabwe had been hoping to bring Chamu Chibhabha back into the team after he missed the four-wicket victory over United Arab Emirates last Thursday in Nelson with a knee injury.
The opener, who scored a half century against South Africa in the opening defeat, was unable to prove his fitness and Regis Chakabva retains his place at the top of the order.
West Indies – Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Jonathan Carter, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Lendl Simmons, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Jason Holder (captain), Jerome Taylor, Nikita Miller.
Zimbabwe – Regis Chakabva, Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Elton Chigumbura (captain), Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Tendai Chatara, Tinashe Panyangara, Stuart Matsikenyeri.