‘Gayle’ force fastest score

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle hits the ball to the boundary during their Cricket World Cup Pool B match against Zimbabwe in Canberra, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015.
Associated Press / Rob Griffith

West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle smashed the highest ever score in a World Cup and the fastest ever double century in One-Day Internationals, as West Indies powered their way to 372 for two against Zimbabwe in their third Group B in Australia last week.

The Jamaican left-hander finished on a career best 215 off 147 deliveries while Marlon Samuels carved out an unbeaten 133, innings that helped the regional team to the fifth highest total in World Cup history.

Gayle combined with Samuels decimated the Zimbabwe bowling attack in a phenomenal second wicket stand of 372 — an all-time recorded for any wicket in One-Day Internationals.

Overall, Gayle struck 10 fours and an incredible 16 sixes, on his way to a double century off a mere 138 deliveries.

He became the only fourth batsman to score an ODI double and first non-Indian national.

His knock was also the third highest in ODIs behind Rohit Sharma’s 264 last year against Sri Lanka and Virender Sehwag’s 219 against West Indies four years ago.

Along the way, Gayle passed 9,000 runs. Samuels was reduced to a virtual spectator, despite chalking up his ninth ODI century in a career-best effort.

He faced 156 balls and hit 11 fours and three sixes.

The two came together after Dwayne Smith was bowled without scoring by seamer Tinashe Panyangara off the second ball of the innings without a run on the board.

Gayle, who narrowly survived a very close LBW review in the same over before he had scored, then emerged in history from an uncertain start to flay the Zimbabwe bowling to all parts of the Manuka Oval.

Meanwhile, West Indies Twenty20 captain was the only Caribbean player sold in the 2015 Indian Premier League auction recently.

A powerful lower order batsman and steady medium pacer, Sammy was snapped up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for US$466,000.

The 31-year-old was released by Sunrisers Hyderabad following the 2014 campaign.

Several West Indies players went unsold including Test Captain Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Rampaul, Jonathan Carter, Darren Bravo, Krishmar Santokie, Carlos Brathwaite, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Barnwell and Kevon Cooper.

Seamers Rampaul, Santokie and Cooper were released from their respective franchises following the 2014 season.

Sammy, however, has seen his Twenty20 stock continue to rise, since his sudden retirement from Test cricket last year.

West Indies’ Darren Sammy edges the ball against Ireland during their Cricket World Cup pool B match at Nelson, New Zealand, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015.
Associated Press / Ross Setford

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