By 2015, the world was beginning to get used to the concept of a double-century in one-day international cricket. Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma’s two doubles made sure a double hundred became more common than ever. But what transpired at the 2015 World Cup semifinal was quite surreal, when New Zealand’s Martin Guptill smashed the West Indies all over Wellington and bludgeoned an incredible 237 of 163 balls.
Add to that spectacle the importance of a World Cup semifinal and the importance of it grows manifold. It was the quarterfinal of the 2015 World Cup and Chris Gayle was coming off a double of his own 215 against Zimbabwe which will remain the World Cup’s first-ever one-day double century. Nearly a month removed from Gayle’s carnage, where he tonked 16 sixes, Guptill’s scored 60 percent of New Zealand’s total runs and powered them to their maiden World Cup semifinal.
Guptill received little support from his teammates, but New Zealand wouldn’t complain. Guptill scored 92 of New Zealand’s 153 runs in the final 10. No one in the crowd will be able to forget what they saw, especially Maron Samuels, who dropped Guptill at square leg first over of the match. With Brendon McCullum dismissed cheaply, New Zealand recovered through Guptill and Kane Williamson, who added a brisk 62 runs for the second wicket.
The astonishing feature about Guptill’s innings was his cautious approach in the first half in fact by the time he reached his 100, he had faced 111 balls, meaning the next 52 balls recorded for 137 runs, his second hundred requiring just 41 balls. He faced the first ball of the innings and the last, during which he cleared the ropes 11 times, one of which landed at the top of the Westpac Stadium. He was dismissed off the last ball of the innings but by then had powered New Zealand to their then third-highest ODI total of all time.
West Indies were bowled out for 250 13 more than what Guptill scored. Gayle scored a hopeful 61 off 33 but once he was dismissed, the end was inevitable, more so due to lack of contributions from the rest of the batting order. Trent Boult ripped through the Windies top order, claiming 4/44 off 10. Samuels, who had offered Guptill a reprieve, fell to an outstanding catch by Vettori.