Martin Guptill New Zealand West Indies ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill celebrates his hundred against the West Indies in their ICC Cricket World Cup quarterfinalReuters

Australia vs Pakistan will be remembered for that stunning Wahab Riaz spell and the drop from Rahat Ali. Well, Marlon Samuels and the West Indies will wonder "what if" once this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 quarterfinal against New Zealand is done and dusted.

On 4, having started the innings with a beautiful straight drive, Martin Guptill flicked a half-volley on leg stump from Jerome Taylor straight to Samuels at square-leg. Samuels got a good pair of hands of to the ball, but as he went down so did the ball, and with it, possibly the hopes of a semifinal for the West Indies.

Guptill made Samuels and the West Indies pay for that drop, and how, smashing a mind-boggling, unbeaten 237 in just 163 balls (24x4, 11x6), easily the highest score by a batsman in a knockout game in World Cup history, to propel New Zealand to a huge total of 393 for six in 50 overs.

The chase was going to go one of two ways – either Chris Gayle and the rest go equally berserk and we get the first close game in these CWC quarterfinals or New Zealand run through the West Indies batsmen and the match ends in a hurry.

It was a bit of both to be honest, with Gayle leading the six-hitting charge, even though wickets kept tumbling after another, with West Indies eventually finishing up on 250 all out in 30.3 overs, 143 runs short of New Zealand's total.

Gayle (61, 33b, 2x4, 8x6) could not even run, so severe was his back problem, so all he could do was stand and deliver. Stand and deliver he did, pumping one six after another with Tim Southee, who picked up seven wickets against England the last time he bowled in Wellington, and Daniel Vettori facing the brunt of the assault.

While Gayle was smashing sixes left, right and centre at one end, Trent Boult (10-3-44-4) was picking up wickets at the other, starting with the castling of Johnson Charles in the second over of the innings. Boult would then take the wicket of Lendl Simmons via an outside edge to the slips, before Vettori, smarting from being hit for three consecutive sixes by Gayle, pulled off the catch of this World Cup. Flashed to third man with some pace by Marlon Samuels, the ball looked destined to go for another six, only for Vettori to stick out his left hand on the jump and pouch it in stunning fashion.

The entire New Zealand side ran up to Dan "Old man" Vettori, and Boult's dominance with the ball only continued from there, with the left-arm pace bowler, who was perhaps a touch lucky not to have to bowl too many deliveries to Gayle, trapping Denesh Ramdin in front of the wicket, with a peach of an in-dipper coming around the wicket, before going on to bowl all 10 overs on the trot.

At 80/4 after 10 overs, the match was as good as done, even with Gayle still at the crease, and any sliver of hope left of a stunning victory vanished when Gayle fell in the first ball of the 17th over, playing on to his stumps off the bowling of Adam Milne.

There were quite a few big shots from the likes of Darren Sammy, Andre Russell and Jason Holder after Gayle fell, while Jonathan Carter raised his stock with a nice little innings, but all those big hits did was reduce the margin of victory for New Zealand.

Earlier, all eyes were on Brendon McCullum at the start of the innings, after the New Zealand skipper won the toss and chose to bat first, but this innings was all about Guptill, coming off a hundred, not even remotely as good as this, against Bangladesh.

The moment he hit that four straight back past the bowler first ball, you knew he was in form. And after the let-off in just the third ball of the match, Guptill put on an ODI batting masterclass much to the joy of the partisan crowd, who lived and loved every moment, at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

McCullum, as expected, flew off the blocks, the little time he was at the crease, and New Zealand had a sound start, even after the skipper fell to a wonderful running catch from Jason Holder off the bowling of Jerome Taylor.

Kane Williamson, New Zealand's best batsman, came in and settled the innings well with Guptill, with both players picking off the boundaries that were on offer, while ensuring the run rate stayed at a pretty healthy pace. It looked like the partnership, worth 62 in a little under 12 overs, would set New Zealand up, but Williamson's wicket in the final ball of the 16th over, put a bit of a bump into those plans.

However, Ross Taylor came in and allied beautifully with Guptill, with the opener showing his nous and ability to just work the ball, and with it the bowlers, at will. It was cruise, lets-not-take-any-risks mode for the duo, and even if Ross Taylor was far from his best, his 42 (61b, 2x4) in the partnership of 143 in 22.3 overs, was worth its weight in gold.

The trigger for Guptill and New Zealand's assault, and what an assault, was the Batting Powerplay, so long a bane for the batsmen, very much a boon at this World Cup.

And so it proved in this quarterfinal as well, with Guptill showing his ability to switch gears seemingly at the press of a button. New Zealand took 53 runs from the five over block, with Taylor falling, via a run out, in the 39th over. The momentum and the run-scoring only picked up after the Batting Powerplay, as Guptill, who got to his 100 in the over before the Powerplay with a single to long-on, unleashed sixes and fours by the dozen on the West Indies bowlers.

Small grounds, four players outside the circle and a man on a hundred, eyeing a double, is a recipe for disaster for the bowling side, and so it proved. Guptill got to his 100 in 111 balls, and when he completed the magical double hundred, in the first ball of the 48th over of the innings, he had faced 41 balls more.

It was just plain ridiculous batting, and Guptill did not stop at 200, smashing a six and a four off the next couple of deliveries to just twist that knife further into the West Indies bowlers and drive New Zealand, who plundered 153 runs in the final 10 overs, to the massive score and eventual victory with South Africa next in their sights.

Get the Full Scorecard of the Match HERE

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