Martin Guptill on Saturday bludgeoned his way to the record books with the highest individual World Cup knock as New Zealand rode on the opener’s swashbuckling unbeaten 237 to crush West Indies by 143 runs and sail into the semifinals of the mega event here in Wellington.
Batting first in the fourth quarterfinal game, New Zealand notched up an imposing 393 for six, then bowled out West Indies for 250 in 30.3 overs to set up a blockbuster last-four clash with an in-form South Africa at Auckland on March 24.
For the record, this was heaviest defeat suffered by any team in terms of runs in the knockout rounds of World Cup.
Guptill scored his runs off 163 balls, becoming the first New Zealander to post a double century in ODIs and the fifth in the world. He was unbeaten when the innings ended.
As he smacked Andre Russell to get to the coveted landmark, Chris Gayle, the only other double centurion in World Cup, came and congratulated Guptill at the Westpac stadium.
Reaching his 100 off 111, the last 52 balls brought Guptill a staggering 137 runs.
He smashed 24 fours and 11 sixes after New Zealand Captain Brendon McCullum opted to bat.
Such was Guptill’s onslaught that the hosts reached from 300 to 350 in just 16 balls. The batsman got to his double ton off 152 balls with the help of 21 fours and eight sixes.
Earlier luck was on Guptill’s side as Marlon Samuels couldn’t hold on to a low chance at short-leg in the third ball of the innings bowled by Jerome Taylor. He was on 4 at that time.
There was, however, no looking back after that reprieve as Guptill anchored the innings with the others playing around him with a mix of caution and aggression.
While skipper Brendon McCullum, the dangerman in the Kiwi line-up, perished early, Guptill held the innings together and added 62 runs for the second wicket with Kane Williamson (33).
After getting his eye in, Williamson was lured into going for a false shot by Andre Russell’s slower delivery, bringing in Taylor to the crease.