Controversial West Indian batsman makes the most of early luck by setting new records
West Indies opener Chris Gayle has scored the first-ever double century at a Cricket World Cup and just the fifth of all time with a stunning innings against Zimbabwe at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Scorecard: Gayle, West Indies shatter records
Gayle was dismissed from the final ball of the innings for 215 from 147 balls to become the first non-Indian and the fourth man overall after Rohit Sharma (twice), Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar to score a double hundred in an ODI.
He beat the long-standing World Cup record of Gary Kirsten, who hit 188 against the UAE at the 1996 tournament.
Chris Gayle belted the Zimbabwe attack to all parts // Getty Images
The left-hander hit 10 fours and 16 sixes, breaking the World Cup record for the most sixes in an innings and equalling the all-time ODI record shared by Sharma and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.
Making Gayle’s record even more impressive is the fact it came at Manuka Oval, one of the biggest grounds being used at this Cricket World Cup.
Gayle also shared a 372-run partnership with Marlon Samuels, a record for any wicket in the history of ODIs, beating the previous mark of 331 set by Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in 1999.
The pair faced 298 of a possible 300 legal deliveries.
The Windies had been 1-0 after Gayle’s opening partner Dwayne Smith was bowled second ball of the match.
Samuels finished unbeaten on 133 from 156 balls with 11 fours and three sixes.
Gayle’s innings came with a fair slice of luck; he survived a very close lbw shout first ball and was also caught twice – once off a no-ball and then again from the resulting free hit.
But the 35-year-old took full advantage, answering his critics with his fourth score of 200 or more in international cricket.
It comes just days after Gayle was criticised on social media by the President of his own cricket board.
After Gayle posted scores of 36 and 1 in his first two matches of the tournament, WICB president Dave Cameron retweeted a post that suggested Gayle should be “given a retirement package”.