Gayle hits first double century in World Cup history
West Indies explosive batsman Chris Gayle was having a quiet World Cup and his critics were up in arms. But the mercurial batsman responded by scoring the first double century in the history of the ICC showpiece 50-overs-a-side tournament in Tuesday's Pool B match against Zimbabwe at Canberra.
His devastating knock of 215 off 147 balls helped the Caribbeans amass 372 for 2 before shooting out Zimbabwe -- whose run-chase was reduced to 363 from 48 overs -- for 289 in 44.3 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method after rain briefly interrupted the contest.
The 35-year-old left-hander hit Tendai Chatara for a boundary in the 46th over of the West Indies innings to reach the landmark of 200 runs off 138 balls.
In walking into the record books by registering the fastest double century in ODIs, he bettered Virender Sehwag's record, which had come off 140 balls.
Certainly, when Gayle fires, the West Indies look a stronger unit.
The masterblaster opener slugged 16 sixes -- equalling the ODI record -- as well as 10 fours in the 147-ball innings, which formed the large part of an ODI record 372-run partnership with Marlon Samuels (133).
He was dismissed off the last ball of the innings trying for a 17th six, but only succeeding in holing out in the deep.
Gayle also went on to complete 9,000 runs in ODIs in the ongoing World Cup.
Earlier, Gayle's first hundred came off 105 balls. It was his 22nd ODI century and included five fours and five sixes.
West Indies captain Jason Holder, who was forced to make two changes to his team, won the toss and elected to bat first.
Both teams had lost their opening matches in the tournament but won their second. Whoever wins the 45th One-day international between these two countries will move to second spot in the pool, behind India.
Are you watching the World Cup? Do share your videos, photos and comments here!
ICC World Cup Merchandise 2015 available on Rediff Shopping