HYDERABAD: A top-class bowling effort from Mohammed Siraj outweighed Michael Bracewell’s heroic ton and partnership with Mitchell Santner as India overcame a late onslaught from the two all-rounders to clinch a 12-run win over New Zealand in the first of the three-match series at Hyderabad on Wednesday. With this, India has a 1-0 lead over New Zealand.
Chasing 350, New Zealand lost their opener Devon Conway for just 10 off 16 balls. It was Mohammed Siraj once again who had struck gold for the Men in Blue in early overs. The Kiwis were 28/1 in 5.4 overs. Following this, opener Finn Allen and Henry Nicholls stitched a partnership that took NZ beyond the 10 overs of mandatory powerplay. At the end of 10 overs, NZ were 42/1, with Allen (17*) and Nicholls (10*).
The 42-run stand between the duo was broken with Shardul Thakur stepping in, dismissing Allen for 40 off 39 balls, with Shahbaz Ahmed, a substitute fielder, taking a great catch at deep midwicket. Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav’s spell landed the visitors in bigger trouble as he sent back Nicholls (18) and Daryl Mitchell (9) quickly. The Kiwis sunk to 89/4 in 17.4 overs.
New Zealand crossed the 100-run mark in 21.4 overs and skipper Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips needed to stitch a partnership. But Mohammed Shami rattled Phillips’ stumps when he was at 11 off 20 balls. Half of the Kiwi line-up was inside the hut for 110 runs. Siraj picked up his second wicket of the match, sending back skipper Latham for 24 off 46 balls. New Zealand were 131/6 at this point.
However, all-rounders Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner turned the tide in favour of the Kiwis. Both batters took the Indian bowlers to the attack. Bracewell brought up his half-century in just 31 balls while Santner served as an anchor from the other point.
The Indian bowlers found it hard to deal with the sheer power-hitting of Bracewell and the duo brought up their 50-run stand and then a 100-run stand easily. The Kiwis reached the 200-run mark in 36.3 overs while they reached 250-run mark in 40.3 overs.
Bracewell brought up his half-century in just 57 balls while the Bracewell-Santner duo brought up their 150 stand in just 90 balls. But Bracewell continued hitting from the other end to keep Kiwis alive. They needed 24 in the final two overs.
Hardik Pandya got the Indians cheering once again, as he dismissed Lockie Ferguson for just seven. New Zealand were 328/9 and needed 22 in nine balls. The Kiwis needed 20 runs in final over, to be bowled by Shardul Thakur. Thakur was not off to a good start as he was hit for a six on the very first ball. However, he dismissed Bracewell to clinch a 12-run win for his side.
Bracewell scored a brilliant 140 off just 78 balls with 12 fours and 10 sixes, but failed to win the match for his side. Siraj was again a standout bowler, taking 4/46 in 10 overs. Kuldeep Yadav and Shardul took two wickets each while Pandya and Shami got one each.
Earlier, Shubhman Gill entered the record books with his maiden double century against New Zealand to power India to 349/8 in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad.
At the age of 23 years and 132 days, Gill became the youngest player to smash a double hundred, bettering Ishan Kishan’s record. The batter put up a one-man show as he scored 208 runs in his inning with the next best being Rohit Sharma’s 34. Daryl Mitchell picked up two wickets for the visitors.
Opting to bat first, Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill started steadily, playing a few dot balls to get their eyes set while finding the occasional boundary to keep the scoreboard ticking. The Indian captain was the aggressor as he smashed two sixes and three fours inside the first 10 overs to take the team to 52/0 at the end of the first powerplay. Gill too dealt in boundaries as he smashed five boundaries at the end of 10 overs, batting at 21(30).
Rohit 34 (38) looked in sublime touch, but was dismissed in the 13th over while attempting to play a lofted drive over mid-on. Blair Tickner broke the 60-run opening stand to draw first blood for New Zealand.
Gill, who had been playing second fiddle until now, assumed the role of keeping the scoring rate high as Virat Kohli looked to get the feel of the pitch. The former India captain, however, could not replicate his last match’s heroics as he fell to Mitchell Santner for just 8 (10).
New Zealand clawed their way back and gained the upper hand with another wicket in the 20th over. Ishan Kishan, who had scored a double century, walked into bat at number four, but failed to impress in the middle order as Lockie Ferguson produced the left-hander’s edge to dismiss him for 5(14).
Gill carried his good form as he reached his 50 with a six off just 52 balls. The right-hander stitched a crucial 65-run partnership with Suryakumar Yadav to steady the Indian inning.
Suryakumar was impressive in his brief stay of 31 (26), but failed to make his start count and present a case for himself in the 50-over setup. The wicket, however, did not stop the flow of runs as Gill smashed a six and took a single in the 30th over to smash back-to-back centuries.
The opener took 87 deliveries to get to his third ODI ton. He became the second-fastest Indian to reach three ODI centuries after Shikhar Dhawan, who took 17 innings, while Gill reached there in 19 innings.
Hardik Pandya joined Gill to keep the Indian scoreboard ticking and shared a 74-run partnership for the fifth wicket before being declared out on a controversial decision which had the all-rounder fuming before walking off the ground for 28 (38).
The all-rounder was declared bowled after the decision was sent to the third umpire for review. However, in the replays, it seemed that New Zealand wicketkeeper Tom Latham’s glove disturbed the stumps and the ball went over the wickets without touching the bails.
Amidst all the drama, Gill surpassed his highest career score and also became the fastest Indian to reach 1000 ODI runs. He reached the landmark in 19 innings in comparison to Virat and Dhawan’s record in 24 innings. The right-hander also became the joint second-fastest to 1000 ODI runs behind Fakhar Zaman’s 18 innings to reach the milestone.
Gill put his foot on the accelerator in the last 10 overs as he became the fifth Indian to score a double-century and the eighth batter overall to score a double ton. The right-hander smashed three consecutive sixes of Lockie Ferguson in the 49th over to reach a historic double ton. He also smashed the highest individual score against New Zealand in ODIs. He was dismissed in the last over for 208(149) which was studded with 19 fours and nine sixes. India ended the inning with 349/8.
Brief Scores: India 349/8 (Shubhman Gill 208, Rohit Sharma 34; Daryl Mitchell 2-30) won over New Zealand: 337 (Michael Bracewell 140, Mitchell Santner 57, Mohammed Siraj 4/46). (ANI)