Guptill blasts 237 of New Zealand's 393
A double-century in a one-day international is not quite passé these days, but has become more common than ever seemed possible. A double-century in a World Cup quarter-final? That is something truly special. Martin Guptill gave the Wellington fans a memory that will never be forgotten, by any of the parties present, as he blasted an unbeaten 237 out of New Zealand's 393 for 6 against West Indies.
It was the second highest ODI score of all time, after Rohit Sharma's 264. It was the second double-century of this World Cup and the man who scored the first, Chris Gayle, will be part of the chase. But it is hard to see West Indies overhauling this total. Their bowling and fielding was sloppy, and Guptill made them pay for putting him down in the first over of the game, when he flicked Jerome Taylor to Marlon Samuels at square leg.
Guptill brought up his 200 with a powerful crunch down the ground for four off Andre Russell from his 152nd delivery, and celebrated while the obligatory standing ovation was provided. It was a fitting shot to bring up the milestone, for throughout his innings Guptill straight driving was so impressive you'd think he'd just had a wheel alignment.
He scored freely throughout his innings but not surprisingly the flow of runs became an inexorable current during the late stages. His first half-century came off 64 balls and his hundred from 111. Do the maths and you'll realise that means his second hundred came from 42 deliveries. Wherever West Indies pitched it in the final ten over, Guptill had a six waiting for them.
In the 50th over he even launched a six onto the roof, only the second batsman to have done that after Craig McMillan. New Zealand walked out to bat knowing the ingredients were all there for a show-stopping product: a huge home crowd, a good pitch, a toss won, an unpredictable West Indies attack. But Guptill's innings rose so unexpectedly it spilled out of the Cake Tin entirely.
His 163-ball innings featured 24 fours and 11 sixes, and he alone scored 92 of New Zealand's 153 in the final ten overs. The highest score by a New Zealander in a World Cup game had been Glenn Turner's 171 not out against East Africa in 1975. That was in New Zealand's first ever World Cup match. Guptill's bettering of that should ensure that New Zealand reaches a seventh World Cup semi-final.
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