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Gayle inspires 73-run West Indies win over Zimbabwe

Chris Gayle rediscovered his mojo in spectacular fashion on Tuesday with the first ever World Cup double century to drive West Indies to a 73-run victory over Zimbabwe in their Pool B clash at Manuka Oval.

All hail Chris Gayle! Credit: Reuters

The opener's 215 was the highest individual innings in a World Cup match, the third highest in any one-day international, and formed the large part of a 372-run partnership with Marlon Samuels (133 not out), also an one-day record.

The dreadlocked 35-year-old slugged 16 sixes -- tying the one-day record -- as well as 10 fours in his 147-ball knock and even though he was dismissed with the last ball of the innings, West Indies were set fair at 372 for two. Zimbabwe had their run-chase trimmed to 363 from 48 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method after rain briefly interrupted the contest and they initially made a good fist of it.

Brendan Taylor was unfortunate to be dismissed for 37 after a controversial third umpire referral and middle order batsmen Sean Williams (76) and Craig Ervine (52) also put in good shifts.

When Gayle (2-35) returned with the ball to dismiss Ervine and Stuart Matsikenyeri (19) with his off-spin, however, the writing was on the wall for Zimbabwe and they were all out for 289 in the 45th over.