India opener Virender Sehwag smashed the highest score in one-day international cricket on Thursday as he made 219 off 149 balls in the fourth match against the West Indies.
The 33-year-old joined compatriot Sachin Tendulkar as the only batsmen to hit double-centuries in the 50-over format when he passed 200 in the 44th over of India’s innings at the Holkar Stadium here.
Tendulkar, the world’s leading Test and one-day batsman, made 200 not out against South Africa in Gwalior in February 2010.
Sehwag surpassed Tendulkar’s score when, on 197, he cut Andre Russell to the point fence for his 23rd boundary.
The Delhi batsman hit 25 boundaries and seven sixes before he was caught in the deep off Kieron Pollard in the 47th over.
Sehwag’s blitz helped India pile up their highest one-day total of 418-5, surpassing the 414-7 they made against Sri Lanka in Rajkot in 2009.
It was Sehwag’s 15th three-figure knock in one-day cricket and the first since making 175 against Bangladesh in the opening match of the World Cup in Dhaka in February this year.
“I had never dreamt of doing this,” Sehwag said on television during the innings break.
“The easy wicket and the short boundaries made it easier. I told Gauti [Gambhir] that if we showed a little patience we could get a big one. But I never expected to make a double century.
“The pitch was so true that one could play all shots. When Sammy dropped me, I knew God was with me. I am relieved but also tired because I am an old man now.
“I just want to thank my family and all those who have supported me in my career,” he said.
Sehwag also has two triple Test centuries to his credit, one of only four batsmen to achieve the feat. Others with two 300s each are Australian legend Don Bradman and the West Indies duo of Brian Lara and Chris Gayle.
-With The Daily Star/Afp input