West Indies’s Chris Gayle bludgeoned his way into the World Cup records with his 215, containing 16 sixes and his 372-run partnership with Marlon Samuels (133 not out), to lift West Indies to 372-2 against Zimbabwe in a Pool B match on Tuesday.
Under intense pressure after failing to score a One Day International (ODI) century since June 2013, and averaging less than 20 in the meantime, Gayle had a huge reprieve when he survived an LBW appeal and a review of umpire Steve Davis’s not-out decision on the first ball he faced.
Then the 35-year-old Jamaican let the Zimbabwe attack have it, surpassing Gary Kirsten’s 188 against the United Arab Emirates in 1996 as the highest individual score in the World Cup before he was caught out on the last ball of the innings. His 147-ball knock also contained 10 boundaries and was the fastest double-hundred – and only the fourth overall – in an ODI. His partnership with Samuels also was an ODI record for any wicket.
Level with AB
Gayle’s 16 sixes equaled the record for most in an ODI innings, level with South Africa’s skipper AB de Villiers’s mark against the West Indies in Johannesburg last month and Rohit Sharma’s knock against Australia at Bangalore in 2013.
He was on the attack for most of the innings, but cautious when he got close to his 22nd ODI hundred, moving through the 90s, mostly in singles. At the end of an over featuring four singles, he smashed a six to move to 107 from 108 balls.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers had no answer to his onslaught, and had setbacks when Gayle was caught from a no-ball at long-on while on 121 and caught again in the deep off the subsequent free hit in an eventful start to the 40th over.
Samuels hit 11 boundaries and three sixes after going to the crease after Tinashe Panyangara bowled Dwayne Smith without a run on the board with the second ball. He did have a let off in the 17th over, on 27, when he was dropped. – Sapa