Hyderabad, Jan 18: New Zealand off-spin all-rounder Michael Bracewell produced a stunning counter-attack through a 78-ball 140 but his fightback went in vain as India won by 12 runs in the first ODI to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, here on Wednesday.
After Shubman Gill produced a magnificent display of batsmanship to make 208 off 149 balls, laced with 19 fours and nine sixes, and becoming the youngest batter to hit a double century in men’s ODIs as India made a massive 349/8, New Zealand was in trouble at 131/6.
Bracewell, who hit 12 fours and ten sixes in his 78-ball knock, took charge of the chase and added 162 off just 102 balls for the seventh wicket with Mitchell Santner, who made 57 off 45 balls.
India was put under massive pressure and it needed wickets from local lad Mohammed Siraj, who took 4/46, apart from HardikPandya and Shardul Thakur taking out a wicket each at the end to give the hosts’ a 1-0 lead in three-match series.
Bracewell slashed, pulled and swept well against spinners while Santner gained momentum by dispatching anything overpitched and short to the boundary rope off Hardik and Washington Sundar. Shardul was brought back in the 37th over and Bracewell hammered over extra cover for four, before getting his fifty with a pull over mid-wicket for six.
He continued to be severe on Shardul and KuldeepYadav, playing with the field and getting his boundaries with ease, with Santner joining in the fun too. Bracewell then attacked Washington, hitting him for sixes over long-off and wide long-on as New Zealand needed 103 off the last ten overs.
Mohammed Shami was brought back to end the partnership, but Bracewell moved across to scoop over fine leg for six. He then brought up his century in 58 balls with a six smoked cleanly over long-on off Shami in the 43rd over. Santner crunched three boundaries off fast bowlers to get his fifty.
Siraj brought India back in the match by having Santner miscue pull to deep mid-wicket and on the very next ball, got one to nip back in to rattle Henry Shipley’s stumps in the 46th over. But Bracewell was standing tall, swinging off Hardik for sixes over mid-wicket and square leg in the 47th over, before taking a four and six off Shami in the 48th over.
Hardik kept hopes of an Indian win high by getting Lockie Ferguson to hole out to long-off in the 49th over, conceding just four runs. With 20 needed off the final over, Bracewell hammered a short ball from Shardul over wide long-on for six before conceding a wide. Shardul finished things for India by trapping Bracewell plumb lbw with a dipping yorker. As DRS confirmed the ball hitting the stumps, India took a sigh of relief.