Caribbean juggernaut Chris Gayle became the first man in the planet to score a double hundred in the World Cup as West Indies blew away Zimbabwe by 73 runs in their third Group B match at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Tuesday.
Gayle was all over the game as he slammed 215 on his way to breaking numerous records that pummeled the Windies to a tournament-high 372-2 in 50 overs. With a mountain to climb and a brief rain intervention, Zimbabwe received a revised target of 363 to win from 48 overs before they were bundled out for 289 in 44.3 overs.
Tenashe Panyangara had a tremendous opening spell when he bowled opener Dwayne Smith in the second ball and was denied a leg before wicket dismissal of Gyale for duck in the fourth when a contentious DRS came into act.
And Gayle wrote rest of the story for the day. Along with Marlon Samuels, he took a cautious approach completing his century of 105 balls but in a remarkable assault on Zimbabwe bowlers, reached next 100 runs in just 34 balls.
He brought up the fastest ODI 200 from 139 balls. He and Samuels shared a 372-run world record stand for any wicket before he was out in the last ball of the innings bowled by Hamilton Masakadza. Gayle finished his inning with 215 off 147 balls hitting 16 massive sixes – equaling the highest number in an ODI innings apart from clubbing 14 boundaries.
Samuels played a rather sedate innings making 133 off 156 balls hitting 11 fours and three sixes. Gyale became the fourth batsman to reach 200 runs and now stands at the third behind Rohit Sharma (264 against Sri Lanka) who is also at No 4 with his 209 against Australia and another India player Virender Sehwag (219).
He bettered Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 runs which he made against South Africa. Gayle also broke World Cup’s highest score in an innings by an individual surpassing Gay Kirsten’s 188 which he made against UAE in 1996 World Cup. He also became Windies’ highest ODI scorer leaving behind Sir Vivian Richards 189.
Zimbabwe were clueless after the Gayle storm and only had two crucial contributors in a big chase. Sean Williams made 76 off 61 hitting nine boundaries and shared 80-run stand with Craig Ervine, who made 52 off 41 with seven boundaries and a six. West Indies remain at the second spot in the points table with four points behind India who have played a game less and have a healthy run rate.