After having a poor start to the ICC World Cup 2015, West Indies opener Chris Gayle was back in form as he slammed the first double century in the history of ICC’s pinnacle event.
Gayle, who could score just 40 runs in the first two innings of the prestigious event, made a mockery of the Zimbabwe bowling attack and also created history by becoming the only non-Indian cricketer to score a double ton in ODIs.
Gayle started the innings on a very cautious note and reached his half-century off 51 balls and century off 105 balls. But he stepped up the gas from there onwards and scored the next 100 runs off just 32 balls. He was dismissed off the final ball of the innings by Masakadza.
Gayle also surpassed the highest individual score in World Cup, previously held by Gary Kirsten. Kirsten had scored unbeaten 188 runs against off 159 balls against UAE in 1996 World Cup.
Apart from Gayle, Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar are the only three cricketers to have scored a double ton in limited-overs cricket.
The next 150 came off just 87 balls, of which the last hundred in just 32, taking him to fastest ODI double century in 138 balls – breaking Virender Sehwag’s record. Till then, it was just five fours and five sixes. That 11 more will come was nobody willing to challenge.
He scored his century from 105 balls before blasting his second hundred in only 33 deliveries.
A pleasant coincidence was that Gayle gave his best exactly the day Sachin Tendulkar hammered first ever ODI double ton five years ago in 2010 against South Africa in Gwalior.
Records refused to not get tumbled and soon Gayle was involved in a world-record partnership for any wicket with centurion Marlon Samuels as the duo shared 372-run stand for the second wicket to power West Indies to 372 for 2 in 50 overs. It is also the only instance that an ODI innings had a double centurion as well as a centurion.
Incidentally, the innings also brought up Gayle’s 9,000 ODI runs. But that landmark went way below the stock-pile of records that were broken on an eventful day, and the best way to know that is listing the damage Gayle did.