Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cricket World Cup 2015 hit by Gayle Storm!

West Indies vs Zimbabwe at Manuka Oval, Canberra: Feb 23, 2015 - Match Review

West Indies beat Zimbabwe by 73 runs.

Jason Holder, the West Indies skipper when asked after West Indies had won their last game against Pakistan if he was concerned about the form of his top order replied that he was not too concerned as they had plundered 300 in both their opening games and that they would get 400 if the top order fired. Well, Gayle did fire today and how!! West Indies scored a mammoth 372 runs as Gayle and Samuels broke record after record against a hapless Zimbabwe side.

West Indies won the toss and decided to bat first. Panyangara removed Dwayne Smith in the first over for a duck and they could have had Gayle for a golden duck too as they reviewed a close lbw shout against him. Unfortunately, for them though it was a 50-50 decision and since the umpire had originally given it not out, the decision stayed. Zimbabwe were steady and Gayle and Samuels struggled to score. West Indies reached their 100 only in the 24th over but Gayle was beginning to flourish and Samuels was batting with a steely determination. Zimbabwe needed a wicket but it never came. They tried as many as 7 bowlers and each one tried honestly but they simply could not breach the defenses of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.

Gayle reached his hundred in 105 balls and Samuels labored to his 50 off 95 balls. West Indies reached 200 in the 39th over. What followed was carnage. Gayle launched into the Zimbabwean bowlers and he peppered the straight and the mid-wicket fence repeatedly. He smashed his way to a double hundred off just 138 balls. Samuels also reached his ton in 143 balls. Gayle was out on the last ball but by then he had hit a record 16 sixes in his epic 215. West Indies had reached 372 off their 50 overs. The partnership was the highest ever in ODI cricket for any wicket, Gayle's 215 the highest score in all World Cup's.

Chris Gayle is all smiles after a satisfying, record breaking innings of 
215 off 147 balls against Zimbabwe at the Manuka Oval in Canberra

Zimbabwe lost Chakabva in the first over to a review from West Indies and the rain soon arrived. When play resumed 2 overs were removed from Zimbabwe's innings and they had to score 363 in 48 overs. Raza played a cameo of 26 runs from 20 balls but Zimbabwe were 46-3 in the 8th over, they had lost Hamilton Masakadza earlier. Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams launched a mini recovery and scored runs freely up until the DRS made an entry again. West Indies reviewed a decision when they thought that Taylor had edged one to Ramdin off Samuels. The replays did not show anything that warranted a reversal of the decision but reversed it was. Zimbabwe were earnest in their chase and were in the hunt right through. Sean Williams and Craig Ervine both hit spirited half centuries but 363 was little too much for Zimbabwe. They made 289 and lost by 73 runs.

The skies were dark and there was rain in the air when the match started and right through the West Indies's innings. A storm was about to hit the Manuka Oval in the Australian capital of Canberra. It rained sixes and and records were shattered. Chris Gayle made his first century since 2013 and it was a breathtaking one. West Indies, after losing to Ireland in their opening game have now won 2 and with almost all their batsmen firing, they will surely cause headaches to South Africa and India.

PS - The image used is courtesy www.espncricinfo.com

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