West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has scored the first double hundred in Cricket World Cup history.

The big hitter reached his double century off just 138 balls in a Pool B match as the West Indies defeated Zimbabwe by 77 runs in Canberra, Australia.

Gayle’s knock of 215 off 147 balls beats the previous best by South Africa’s Gary Kirsten, who scored 188 not out against the United Arab Emirates at the 1996 World

The 35-year-old left-hander — the only batsman to hit a century in Twenty20 Internationals — blasted 16 sixes and 10 fours during his innings as the Windies finished on 372 for two off 50 overs.

“It was slow at the start, but you have to take the bull by its horns and try to put some pressure on them,” Gayle said, BBC Sport reported.

“Eventually the field spread and I targeted which balls to attack. When I got past one hundred, I knew I wanted it to be a double hundred, so I’m glad I got the chance to deliver it.”

The Jamaican made a shaky start surviving a close LBW decision off the first ball of the match before eventually losing his wicket to the final ball of the innings.

“With the innings, I struggled at the start and it was scary the first ball. I was like ‘come on you’re not serious, I can’t be out on this first ball’. I needed a chance and got a break and made the best use of it.”

West Indies, two-time winners of the Cricket World Cup, recorded a shock loss against minnows Ireland in their first group game but bounced back with a win against 1992 champions Pakistan in their second pool match.