Bengaluru, May 14: There was a time when Kapil Dev's 175 not out or Viv Richards' 181 had a stunning effect on the cricketing world.
Those two knocks came on the highest stage in the game, i.e., World Cup and although the opponents were not too powerful (Zimbabwe for Kapil in 1983 and Sri Lanka for Richards in 1987), yet the sheer numbers in those pre-T20 times had left the fans awestruck.
In 1996, Gary Kirsten scored a 188 not out against debutants United Arab Emirates but none really could push it across the double century mark. But eventually the line was breached in 2015.
Scoreboard: South Africa vs UAE, 1996: SA won by 169 runs
The first double century in the cricket World Cup came from the bat of the 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle and he chose Zimbabwe to display his ruthless instinct.
Scoreboard: West Indies vs Zimbabwe, 2015: WI won by 73 runs
At the Manuka Oval in Canberra on February 24, 2015, the giant left-hander slammed 215 off just 147 balls (10 fours and an incredible number of 16 sixes) to see his side posting a total of 372 for 2 in 50 overs. He played the entire overs and got out in the final delivery of the innings.
Zimbabwe, too, put up a fight as they had against India after Kapil's heroics but lost by 73 runs in Duckworth-Lewis method.
For those who believed that Gayle's record will be staying for a long time, it was a shocker. It was not even a month since the Caribbean slammed his knock that it was broken and it happened in the same WC.
In the fourth quarter-final in Wellington on March 21, the unstoppable New Zealand faced the Windies and after captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and elected to bat, opener Martin Guptill went on to score a 237 not out in just 163 balls with the help of 24 boundaries and 11 over-boundaries.
The Kiwis gave the West Indies what they had gifted the Zimbabweans. The West Indies were left to score 394 to win the game and make the semi-finals but Gayle fell for 61 (33 balls) and his team was all out for 250 to lose by 143 runs.
The upcoming WC promises to produce more such power-packed performances.