A double-century in a one-day international is not exactly old fashioned, yet has ended up more normal than any other time in recent memory appeared to be conceivable. A double century in a World Cup Quarter-Final? That is something genuinely uncommon. Martin Guptill’s unbeaten 237 was the higher run in World Cup score ever and the second-most high-score in all ODIs, however above all it guaranteed New Zealand’s movement to the World Cup semi-finals for the seventh time.
No one in the gallery in Wellington will ever forget this Guptilly innings. Nor will Marlon Samuels, who in the first over of the match grassed Guptill at square leg. It is difficult to envision a costlier one-day drop, for Guptill went ahead to score 60% of New Zealand’s 393 for 6. To add to the damage, Samuels later tumbled to the most splendid of discovers, when a retreating Daniel Vettori at profound point jumped and squeezed an one-hander over his head that would have striven for six.
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.
New Zealand 393 for 6 (Guptill 237*, Taylor 3-71) beat West Indies 250 (Gayle 61, Boult 4-44) by 143 runs