Gayle double century stuns Zimbabwe


Published: Tuesday 24th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Chris Gayle become the first person to score a double century in a World Cup match as batting records tumbled in West Indies’ 73-run Duckworth-Lewis victory over Zimbabwe.

Destructive opener Gayle overcame a nervy start at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, including surviving a tight lbw call in the first over, to thump 10 fours and an incredible 16 sixes in a superb knock of 215 off 147 deliveries – the third highest one-day international score of all time.

The 35-year-old needed just 33 balls in his second ton as he moved into an elite club, with Gary Kirsten recording the previous highest score at cricket’s premier 50-over competition when he made 188 not out for South Africa against the United Arab Emirates in February 1996.

Gayle’s landmark innings was the first individual one-day double hundred outside of India and the fifth overall.

He fell to the final ball of the innings as the Windies reached 372 for two before Zimbabwe were bowled out for 289 – with Gayle claiming two wickets – as they failed to reach their target of 363.

The left-hander also played his part in setting the highest ever partnership in ODIs as he and Marlon Samuels (133 not out) scored all of their side’s runs, along with 24 extras.

Zimbabwe actually made an ideal start despite losing the toss as Tinashe Panyangara’s second delivery nipped back into Dwayne Smith’s off stump, but that was as good as it got.

Gayle was rapped on the pads two balls later but he was reprieved by the on-field umpire and the decision review system.

It was a crucial let-off for the veteran left-hander and he gradually started to find some fluency with a towering six off Sean Williams giving an indication of what was to follow.

He brought up his century – his 22nd in ODIs and first since June 2013 – in the 36th over, a position from which he propelled himself in expert fashion.

Gayle was given a life on 121 when he was caught on the long-on boundary, but the umpire correctly ruled bowler Panyangara had overstepped and the batsman made sure they were punished.

He fell to the final ball, skying a catch to midwicket, but by then it was damage limitation for the Zimbabweans.

In reply, Zimbabwe lost Regis Chakabva cheaply to Jason Holder and t he rain covers came out with the score 18-1, but play resumed less than 20 minutes later with a new revised target of 363 with the loss of two overs.

Hamilton Masakadza (five) lost his wicket soon after as he was dismissed lbw by Jerome Taylor and the Zimbabwean wickets continued to tumble as opener Sikandar Raza, who was their biggest threat hitting five fours in his 26-run total, fell to a well-taken catch from Lendl Simmons in the deep off Holder.

Brendan Taylor (37) and Williams began to steady the ship with a fourth-wicket partnership of 80 before the former fell victim to Samuels and W illiams’ (76) time at the crease came to an end in the 28th over as Holder claimed his third wicket.

Jerome Taylor (three for 38) dropped Craig Ervine on the boundary after Zimbabwe had reached the 200 mark but Gayle claimed his scalp for 52 shortly after and Stuart Matsikenyeri (19) followed, lbw to the double centurion.

Panyangara (four) and Elton Chigumbura (21) – caught by Gayle at extra-cover – were both dismissed by Jerome Taylor to leave Zimbabwe with a mountain to climb before they crumbled to defeat with Tendai Chatara (16) the last man to fall.

Published: Tuesday 24th February 2015 by The News Editor

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