BIG HITTERS: Martin Guptill (main picture) INSET (from top) AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Kevin O’Brien, Ricky Ponting.
BIG HITTERS: Martin Guptill (main picture) INSET (from top) AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Kevin O’Brien, Ricky Ponting.

12 of the best World Cup batsmen of all time

BATSMEN have come a long way since the first World Cup in 1975 when legendary Sunil Gavaskar carried his bat through an entire innings for India ... and scored 36. Remember, it was 60 overs per side back then.

Thirty-seven of the 164 Cups hundreds have now been struck at this 2015 tournament, including the first two double centuries in a World Cup.

Interactive: The best XI cricketers of all time (says data)

While the whirlwind 162 by AB de Villiers against Zimbabwe was breathtaking, and Chris Gayle's 215 against Zimbabwe was brilliant, Martin Guptill's unbeaten 237 against the West Indies was arguably the best knock we have ever seen at a World Cup.

APN's TERRY MALLINDER looks back at a dozen of the best.

CLIVE LLOYD (WI)

102no (85 balls)

1975 - Final (Lord's)

Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thompson and Gary Gilmour had the West Indies in trouble at 3-50. Enter the Super Cat to help guide his side to 291 and the first World Cup, the Aussies falling 17 runs short.

VIV RICHARDS (WI)

138 (157 balls)

1979 - Final (Lord's)

A pedestrian knock by today's standards, but it was just the second ton of the tournament, and ensured the West Indies would successfully defend their title, scoring 9-286 to beat England by 92 runs.

KAPIL DEV (IND)

175no (138 balls)

1983 - Pool (Tunbridge Wells)

Minnows Zimbabwe, which had upset Australia, had India in all sorts at 5-17, before the great all-rounder saved the day. India would go on and win its first Cup.

VIV RICHARDS (WI)

181 (125 balls)

1987 - Pool (Karachi)

The Master Blaster mauled the Sri Lankan attack as the West Indies racked up 4-360. Richards' score was 12 more than the Lankans' entire total.

GARY KIRSTEN (SA)

188no (159 balls)

1996 - Pool (Rawalpindi)

The opener's innings against the UAE stood as the highest Cup score until this year. It featured 13 fours and four sixes as the Proteas amassed 2-321 and won by 169 runs.

STEVE WAUGH (AUS)

120 (110 balls)

1999 - Super Sixes (Headingley)

Needing a win to make the semi-finals, Australia was reeling at 3-48 chasing South Africa's 7-271. The Ice Man coolly got his side home, albeit helped by 'that' dropped catch from Herschelle Gibbs.

RICKY PONTING (Aus)

140 (121 balls)

2003 - Final (Wanderers)

After taking 74 balls to reach his first 50, the skipper cranked it up as Australia racked up an imposing - and out of reach - 2-359 against India, which fell 125 runs short.

ADAM GILCHRIST (AUS)

149 (104 balls)

2007 - Final (Bridgetown)

Dominating a 172-run opening stand with Matt Hayden (38), the keeper struck 13 fours and eight sixes to lead the Aussies to a 53-run win over Sri Lanka and third straight Cup triumph.

KEVIN O'BRIEN (IRE)

113 (63 balls)

2011 - Pool (Bangalore)

Ireland was chasing an improbable 328 for victory against England, but the underdogs pulled it off thanks to O'Brien scorching his way to the fastest Cup ton (50 balls).

CHRIS GAYLE (WI)

215 (147 balls)

2015 - Pool (Canberra)

The destructive opener bludgeoned his way to the first Cup 200, becoming the first player to score a T20 hundred, ODI double-century and Test triple-ton.

AB DE VILLIERS (SA)

162 (66 balls)

2015 - Pool (SCG)

The captain arrived at the crease against the West Indies in the 30th over, before blazing his way to the fastest ODI 150 off 64 balls. He almost didn't play because of a gastro attack.

MARTIN GUPTILL (NZ)

237no (163 balls)

2015 - Quarter-Final (Wellington)

After taking 110 balls to reach his century, Guptill set a new World Cup high, smashing a staggering 137 from his last 52 balls.



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