Canberra. That single word brings out the rich culture and flavour of Australia. The 24th of February however, will be a day many people in the beautiful capital of Australia will never forget. Chris Gayle smashed age old cricket records as he clobbered the hapless Zimbabwe attack to score a massive 215. The performance sees the big West Indian batsman boast of the highest individual score in an ICC Cricket World Cup.
Chris Gayle’s blitzkreig destroys the Zimbabwe attack
Dwyane Smith’s poor form at the World Cup continued as he was knocked over by Tinashe Panyangara in the second ball of the innings. In the trademark Zimbabwean celebration that followed, little did any of the Zimbabwean players realize that they were about to be taken apart by Chris Gayle. Prior to the start of the World Cup, Chris Gayle was on the receiving end of harsh criticism, especially from the Dave Cameron, the WICB president. However, despite the off-pitch controversy, Chris Gayle did what he does best- put on a batting exhibition.
After reaching his century in 104 balls, Gayle switched gears and went after the Zimbabwe bowling attack. The next hundred runs came in just 34 balls. His innings of 215 included 11 fours and 16 sixes. The big opener’s ability to clear the fence with absolute ease saw him equal another record- most sixes in an innings in a World Cup match. From now on, the name Chris Gayle will forever be etched in World Cup history.
Marlon Samuels scored his eighth century in ODI cricket and his innings of 133 acted as the perfect foil for Chris Gayle’s magnificent double-ton. The duo had a record breaking partnership of 372 runs for the second wicket. The end of the West Indian Innings saw the score stand at a massive 372/2.
Zimbabwe collapse in A heap
Rain played spoilsport once again as the Zimbabweans found themselves chasing a revised score. Skipper Jason Holder and Jerome Taylor struck early to create early inroads into the fragile Zimbabwean top order. The usual suspects- Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams and Ervine were once again entrusted with saving the African nation. As they did against the UAE, Sean Williams(76) and Craig Ervine(52) scored brisk fifties to ensure that the required run rate did not rise significantly.
Chris Gayle snared a couple of wickets with his off-spin bowling and before long a brave challenge from Zimbawe ended. This concluded the one sided contest with Zimbabwe folding up for 289.
West Indies: 372/2 ( Chris Gayle: 215, Hamilton Masakadza 1/39)
Zimbabwe: 289 ( Sean Williams 76, Jerome Taylor 3/38)
Man Of The Match: Chris Gayle