Gayle smashes first World Cup double century

Cricket with Dalchand Bissoon

Christopher Gayle, the 35-year-old Jamaica and West Indies opening batsman, smashed the first double century in World Cup history as the West Indies defeated Zimbabwe by 73 runs (D/L method) in their third Pool B World Cup match last Tuesday at Manuka Oval, Canberra, Australia.

The burly left-hander scored 215 off 147 balls with 16 sixes and 10 fours and shared in a ODI record 372-run partnership with fellow Jamaican Marlon Samuels who scored an undefeated 133 from 156 balls with 11 fours and three sixes, his ninth ODI century.

Gayle surpassed South Africa’s Gary Kirsten’s record of an unbeaten 188 as the highest score in a World Cup match against United Arab Emirates at Rawalpindi in 1996. He is also the third highest in ODIs behind India’s Rohit Sharma’s 264 against Sri Lanka last year and Virender Sehwag’s 219 against the West Indies four years ago.

It was Gayle’s 22nd one-day century in his 263 matches (1999-2015), scoring 9,081 runs and he has joined the legendary Brian Lara as the only other West Indian batsman to reach that landmark. Lara has appeared in 295 ODIs (1990-2002), scoring 10,348 runs with 19 centuries. Shiv Chanderpaul is third with 268 ODIs (1994-2011)m scoring 8,778 with 11 centuries.

West Indies scored 372 for two wickets in their 50 overs. Zimbabwe made 289 all out in 44.3 overs.

The West Indies lost their opening match against Ireland by four wickets but bounced back, defeating Pakistan by 150 runs last Sunday.

Their next match is against South Africa tomorrow (Feb. 27) at Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia  On Friday, March 6, they will play defending champions India at Perth, Australia, and their final match is against United Arab Emirates at McLean Park, Napier, New Zealand.