The spectators at the Wellington Regional were given the show of a lifetime. It was the fourth quarter-final, New Zealand vs. West Indies. It was never going to be a dull match, not with the likes of Chris Gayle and Bredon McCullum playing.
It was however Martin Guptill who made the day so memorable. It was Martin Guptil who smashed the highest individual World Cup score to score an unbelievable 237 runs from 163 balls. He led New Zealand to a record breaking knock-out game score of 393-6 and got them a place in the semi-finals against South Africa. Guptill’s innings began steadily with some beautiful strokes, he was playing the perfect anchoring innings. That however changed once Guptil reached his 100 from 111 balls. He used 23 balls to reach his 150 and only 18 to reach his 200. He then smashed his final 37 from 11 balls. It was an unbelievable innings of incredible power. 24 fours and 11 sixes came from the man who was making the Wellington ground look smaller than a tennis court. It didn’t matter what the other batsmen were doing all eyes were on Guptill even when he was at the non-strikers end.
The West Indies came out to bat and to their credit they gave it everything. They came out all guns blazing and made New Zealand sweat. As always the West Indies team dealt in boundaries. Chris Gayle who had injured his back could barely run looked his normal self as he slammed eight sixes and two fours to score 61. Marlon Samuels, Jonathan Carter and all of the lower order joined in on the boundary action to keep the West Indies going at a run rate of 8.19 an over. The West Indies captain Jason Holder smashed 42 off 26 balls and it was 31 overs of pure entertainment for the Wellington crowd.
West Indies fell 143 runs short of their imposing target but they could hold their heads up they had given it a real shot. They had a lot to take away from the 2015 World Cup tournament, including the possibility of a new rule to not play against South Africa so long as AB de Villiers remains in the team.