The Windies opener has been struggling for form but he returned to his best in emphatic fashion to lead his team to 372-2 from their 50 overs at the Manuka Oval.
The 35-year-old Jamaican left-hander reached his double century from only 138 balls and he was finally dismissed when he was caught off the final ball of the innings from Hamilton Masakadza as he attempted to hit his 17th six, which would have been a new record for a one-day international.
Gayle also hit 10 fours in his 147-ball knock as he surpassed the previous World Cup best of 188 not out by South Africa’s Gary Kirsten against the United Arab Emirates at Rawalpindi in 1996.
He is only the fifth batsman to score a double century in all ODI cricket and the first non-Indian to reach the landmark.
Marlon Samuels also made an unbeaten 133 from 156 balls as the pair put on a world-record stand of 372 for the second wicket after Gayle???s fellow opener Dwayne Smith was dismissed for a duck.??
Gayle said:?????I???m still struggling with injuries but I have pushed myself to get the preparation right. I???m not getting any younger but overall I???m really happy.
“The team can get some momentum from this going into the match with South Africa.???