15th match, Canberra

West Indies v Zimbabwe

At Canberra, February 24, 2015 (day/night). West Indies won by 73 runs (D/L). Toss: West Indies.
With records tumbling like ninepins, it was easy to forget how close Gayle had come to another one-day failure. Zimbabwe were convinced he was lbw first ball, and the review foundered solely on the rock that is umpire's call. Had the decision fallen their way, Panyangara would have reduced West Indies to one for two in four balls. Instead Gayle, who had made one fifty in his 19 previous one-day internationals, accumulated steadily before peppering the stands with some characteristically monstrous hitting. His 215 - then the highest World Cup score, beating Gary Kirsten's 188 for South Africa against the UAE in 1996 - featured 16 sixes, equalling the ODI record; he and Samuels, relatively sedate in making 133 from 156 balls, put on all of West Indies' 372 runs, their highest one-day international total, and the highest partnership in List A cricket. In the 36th over, and with the score 166 for one, Gayle reached his 22nd one-day international hundred; it was the cue for such rapid acceleration that the opposition and the fans were left gobsmacked. He moved from 100 to 150 in 21 balls, then shot to 200 - the first non-Indian to reach the mark in ODIs, following Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma (twice) - from a dozen more. West Indies cracked 152 in the last ten overs, before Gayle sliced the final delivery to deep point. Williams and Ervine hit classy half-centuries in a spirited Zimbabwe chase, interrupted briefly by rain that revised their target to 363 in 48 overs. But, with Gayle taking two wickets and a catch, the headlines were always going to be about one man. "This innings will ignite a lot of my passion," he promised. "It's a new beginning." DILEEP PREMACHANDRAN
Man of the Match: C. H. Gayle.

© John Wisden & Co