West Indies opener Chris Gayle hit the first double century in World Cup history in their Pool B victory over Zimbabwe at Canberra.
The 35-year-old left-hander reached 200 off 138 balls, hitting Tendai Chatara for a boundary in the 46th over.
His mark eclipsed the unbeaten 188 by South Africa’s Gary Kirsten against the United Arab Emirates in 1996.
Gayle hit a total of 16 sixes in 147 balls before he was out for 215 off the last delivery of his side’s innings.
It was also only the fifth double century in all one-day internationals and the first by a non-Indian, with Rohit Sharma (two), Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag the only other batsmen to achieve the feat.
The stand of 372 with Marlon Samuels – after Dwayne Smith had departed for a second-ball duck – was also a record partnership for any ODI wicket, surpassing the 331 shared by India’s Rahul Dravid and Tendulkar against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 1999.
The story of the innings
Gayle’s knock was almost ended by the very first ball he faced but the on-field umpire turned down Tinashe Panyangara’s lbw appeal and, despite a review showing the ball would have clipped the top of the bails, the original decision stood.
He went on to reach his 22nd one-day century from 105 balls before blasting his second hundred in only 33 deliveries.
From the final ball of the innings Gayle top-edged a catch high to midwicket.
Samuels finished unbeaten on 133 from 156 balls as West Indies amassed 372-2 from their 50 overs.
After a short rain delay, Gayle then took two wickets with his part-time off-spin and a catch as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 289. The Windies won by 73 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method.
Gayle’s effort was all the more remarkable given his recent struggles.
In the 19 innings since his last hundred in June 2013 he had scored 274 runs at an average of 14.42.
Two days ago, Dave Cameron, the president of the West Indies Cricket Board, reignited a row with players by retweeting a fan’s tweet calling for Gayle to be dropped.
Cameron later removed the post and tweeted an apology.
Records tumble in Canberra
- Chris Gayle scored the first World Cup double hundred
- Gayle’s 16 sixes equalled the ODI record held by Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers, and shattered the previous World Cup record of nine
- Gayle and Samuels put on 372 – the highest ODI partnership record for any wicket
- Gayle became the only batsman to hit a century in Twenty20 Internationals, a double century in ODIs and a triple century in Tests.
- The 152 runs the West Indies scored in the last 10 overs is the highest in World Cup history and the second highest in ODIs behind South Africa’s 163 against West Indies in 2015
- Gayle scored more runs in this innings than in his last 12 combined (199)
- Gayle was the first player to score 200 and take two wickets in the same ODI
What Gayle said
“It was slow at the start, but you have to take the bull by its horns and try to put some pressure on them.
“Eventually the field spread and I targeted which balls to attack. When I got past 100, I knew I wanted it to be a double hundred, so I’m glad I got the chance to deliver it.
“There’s been a lot of pressure and the runs haven’t been coming. This is the first time ever in my career that so many people wanted me to score runs and the messages keep coming in on Twitter. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen so many people wanting Chris Gayle to perform.
“I’m glad I gave them something to actually cheer about. I’m really happy and I want to try and build on this. The team can gain some momentum going into South Africa.”
How the cricket world reacted
India batsman Yuvraj Singh: Finally he’s got a double hundred in one day cricket! That doesn’t surprise me who else than @henrygayle. What a stage to get it though.
Former England batsman Allan Lamb: If you don’t get Gayle out in the first 10 overs you suffer. Brilliant knock by Gayle. Well played.
Former England spinner Graeme Swann: Chris Gayle is going ballistic, Marlon Samuels is playing for red ink. Remarkable scenes.
Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie: Lovely knock Gayle. It’s no Test double v Bangladesh but well batted nonetheless.
Cricinfo UK editor David Hopps: News of the Gayle that swept through Canberra while UK was sleeping is nearly crashing our servers.
Gayle the man
Chris Gayle is one of only four players to have hit two triple centuries at Test level.
Now a Twenty20 globetrotter, he holds the record for the fastest hundred in professional cricket after reaching 100 off 30 balls for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League in 2013.
Gayle is also known for his dreadlocks, laid-back demeanour and party lifestyle off the field.
His Instagram account is covered with photos of him with fast cars and shiny suits, sometimes with his shirt off, and frequently partying.