New Zealand’s Martin Guptill re-wrote the record books and the West Indies was at the wrong end of it, as the regional side crashed out of the ICC Cricket World Cup at the quarter-final stage in Wellington, yesterday.
Guptill scored the highest individual score in a World Cup innings, getting an unbeaten 237 to lead New Zealand to an amazing 393 for six off their 50 overs. The West Indies in reply had no answer and folded for 250 off 30.3 overs – losing by 143 runs and they will be returning to the Caribbean.
New Zealand meanwhile will be moving on to the semi-finals, where they host South Africa at Auckland tomorrow evening. Guptill broke Chris Gayle’s record of 215 on his way to his amazing knock off just 163 balls with 24 fours and 11 sixes.
Gayle, nursing an injured back retaliated for a while when the West Indies batted and slammed eight sixes and two fours in a knock of 61 that came off only 33 balls but it was not enough.
Trent Boult opening the bowling for New Zealand scalped the first four batsmen to kill off any hopes the West Indies harboured of even getting close to their score. The West Indies panicked and did not have a plan to chase the huge score and at the end of the innings – they needed another 143 runs with 19.3 overs in the bank.
Earlier, McCullum won the toss and decided to take first strike, knowing fully well that the best part of batting will come during the daytime. He and Guptill started off in a rush and McCullum was snapped up wonderfully well by the lanky Jason Holder for 12. The celebration was energetic by the West Indians because the Kiwi engine had been stalled.
Samuels then put down Guptill a straightforward low catch at square leg with his score on four. This proved to be a very costly mistake because it did two things, one it made Guptill play straight from that point and also demoralised bowler Jerome Taylor.
Guptill started to feel leather on willow and the sweet sound became contagious as Kane Williamson on the other end joined in. They added 62 runs for the second wicket to ensure that the home team suffered no hiccups after their leader was gone. All the while they were building towards a fantastic finish. Williamson left for 33 off 35 balls with five fours and all of a sudden the West Indies had gotten rid of the two southern stars on the Kiwi line-up.
They however did not cater for Guptill as he was focussed on a plan and stuck to it. Rebuilding started again with another architect in the form of Ross Taylor and the dream finish was on the minds of the New Zealanders again. Taylor who found the fieldsmen on more occasion than he found the gap, stayed with Guptill and contributed 42 runs in a partnership of 143 runs off 22.3 overs. He got his runs off 61 balls with just two fours but his greater value would have been the company he kept Guptill.
The right-handed Guptill with his wife Dora watching on from the stands, brought up his second successive century of this World Cup off 111 balls with 12 hits to the fence. The promoted Corey Anderson came and went quickly for 15 and Guptill found a great ally in Grant Elliot, who looked on fire from ball one. They rattled off 55 runs off 19 balls in the mayhem towards the end.
Guptill rushed to his first double century in ODIs during this stand off 152 balls with 21 fours and eight sixes. He then motored on past Chris Gayle’s freshly organised highest World Cup score of 215 and towards the end put the icing on the “Cake Tin” by becoming only the second man after Mark Richardson to hit the roof of the venue.