By Martin Smith
New Zealand opener breaks all kinds of records on his way to an amazing unbeaten 237 against West Indies in the World Cup quarter-final.
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill has scored just the second double-century in World Cup history and the first ever by a New Zealander in a one-day international in an incredible display against West Indies in their World Cup quarter-final in Wellington.
Guptill finished unbeaten on 237 from 163 deliveries, the second-highest individual score in ODI history, the highest in World Cup history, and the highest by a Black Caps batsman in ODI cricket, smashing his own record of 189 not out he set against England in 2013.
The opener’s innings was the foundation of New Zealand’s 143-run win, which sets up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with South Africa in Auckland on Tuesday.
The highlight of Guptill’s late-innings assault was a 110m six he launched over mid-wicket and onto the roof of the ground affectionately known as the ‘Cake Tin’.
Guptill swung hard at a low full toss from Russell and swatted it baseball style onto the roof, much to the delight of the crowd.
It is understood Guptill is just the second man to hit a ball onto the roof at Westpac Stadium; the first was former New Zealand batsman and current Black Caps batting coach Craig McMillan.
Guptill removed his glove and took great delight in signalling ‘two’ to McMillian, who was sitting in the team dugout at ground level.
The right-hander’s second consecutive century – he scored 105 against Bangladesh last week – is the highest by any man in a World Cup knockout match, surpassing Adam Gilchrist’s 149 against Sri Lanka in the final of the 2007 tournament.
It also beat Glenn Turner’s long-standing record of 171 not out set against East Africa in 1975 as the highest score by a New Zealand batsman in a World Cup.
Guptill is the second man to score a double hundred in a World Cup, following Chris Gayle’s 215 against Zimbabwe last month, and the fifth in ODI history, joining Gayle, Rohit Sharma (twice), Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.
Guptill was dropped in the first over of the match when on just four, with Marlon Samuels spilling a straight-forward chance at mid-wicket off the bowling of Jerome Taylor.
The opener took full advantage of the let-off, smashing 24 fours and 11 sixes to guide the Black Caps to 6-393 from their 50 overs.
Guptill started his innings slowly after the early loss of his opening partner Brendon McCullum; he brought up his half-century from 64 balls and reached his seventh ODI century from 111 balls.
He then put his foot down, moving from 100 to 150 in 23 balls and 150 to 200 in just 18 deliveries. He scored 137 runs from 52 balls after bringing up his century.
— ICC (@ICC) March 21, 2015
He brought up his 200 with a firmly-struck boundary straight down the ground off the bowling of Andre Russell before he removed his helmet and raised his bat to accept the applause of the packed crowd.
“Obviously there is pressure but you’ve just got to put it behind you and watch the ball as hard as you can and play accordingly,” Guptill said. “That’s what I tried to do today and luckily it paid off. “It’s a pretty cool feeling to be fair. “The pitch was quite tough to start on but once you get yourself in and get used to it, the runs can come easy.”
The article was originally published in cricket.com.au