There seems to be something about February 24th. Sachin Tendulkar became the first man to score 200 in an ODI against South Africa in Gwalior on this day in 2010.
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Chris Gayle. Pic/AFP
Exactly five years later, Chris Gayle became the first man to score 200 in a World Cup match. Since Tendulkar's monumental feat, Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma have gone past him and for a brief while yesterday Gayle looked to be threatening Sharma's 264.
The rotten run that Gayle had seen, would have almost continued with a first ball duck but for a slice of luck. Umpire Steve Davis turned down a good appeal for LBW by Panyangara and Gayle was reprieved by HawkEye showing the ball to be hitting the top of the bails on review. An inch here or there, he would have trooped off, head hung low, and possibly receiving more snarky tweets from Mr Cameron.
Even after the reprieve, Gayle wasn't settled. He was edgy. He seemed nervous. He played and missed quite bit. Mistimed shots somehow found their way over fielders. It looked like it would only be a matter of time before Zimbabwe claimed him. But as it turned out, they had to wait till the last ball of the innings to dismiss Gayle by which time he had etched his name in to record books several times over!
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After the several near misses, Gayle put his head down and went about the job of constructing a workman-like innings with an occasional big hit. Gayle needed just 21 deliveries to go from 100 to 150 and bettered his personal best in ODIs (157) when he launched a ball that almost took down the still manually operated Jack Fingleton Scoreboard at the Manuka Oval.
He would only require a mere 12 deliveries to speed past 200. He took his helmet off, fell to his knees with arms aloft, grinning the wide Gayle smile and accepted all the adulations. Records swept away Under the dark and rainy skies of Canberra, the Gayle storm raged.
It swept away with it several records and shut up the doubters on and off the field. President Cameron, fully aware of the storm that awaited him on his Twitter feed, tweeted: "No offense intended. Full apologies extended."
Did you know?
Exactly five years ago, Sachin Tendulkar became the first man to score 200 in an ODI against South Africa in Gwalior