Hyderabad: What a superb game of cricket fans witnessed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Eventually, it was India who emerged victorious by 12 runs but for as long as Michael Bracewell was out there in the middle, a billion Indian fans were at the edge of their seats.

Ultimately, Shardul Thakur and India had to get Bracewell out of their way to taste a win and go 1-0 up but not before he had entertained everyone with a superb hundred even if it came in a losing cause. In fact, the match looked dead and buried with the BlackCaps having lost their 6th wicket at the score of 131 but Bracewell and Mitchell Santner’s (57 off 45) 162-run stand for the 7th wicket off 102 deliveries helped the visitors made a match out of it.

In the end, the partnership was broken by Mohammed Siraj who was one of the stars for India, ending with figures of 4 for 46, going at just 4.60 runs per over when the asking rate for the opposition was 7 at the outset. Later, Bracewell was at the risk of running out of partners but he kept hitting boundaries and sixes and found himself on strike with 20 to get from 6 balls and even smashed the first ball of the last over for a six.

However, Shardul’s near-perfect yorker brought an end to his and New Zealand’s innings which suggests that even a slight better show from their top order could have easily meant a different result.

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Shubman Show In Hyderabad!

The batter who outshone even Bracewell’s splendid efforts was Shubman Gill. The right-handed batter became the fifth Indian to score a double century in a One-Day International (ODI) and also the youngest player to cross 200 in this format aged 23 years and 132 days. The kind of impact he had could be gauged from the fact that the second best individual score in India’s innings after Gill’s 208 off 149 deliveries was 34 made by captain Rohit Sharma.

Wickets keep falling at the other end and it looked like India might not be able to make the best use of the kind of platform Shubman had set but he came back only in the final over, ensuring the hosts had scored way past the 300-run mark, managing 349. His innings was studded with 19 fours and 9 sixes, 3 sixes of which he hit back to back to reach his double hundred.

Daryl Mitchell and Henry Shipley picked 2 wickets each for New Zealand but none could find the answer to Gill’s masterclass before Blair Tickner got him out in the last over at a stage of his innings where he was looking to hit a six of virtually every ball.

As a result of this win, India have taken a 1-0 lead in the series. The second ODI between the two countries is slated to be played on January 21, Saturday at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Raipur.





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