India and New Zealand played out an absolute nail-biter when the two sides faced each other in the first One-Day International (ODI) of the ongoing three-match series at Rajeev Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday.
Chasing the massive target of 350, the Black Caps were in deep trouble, having lost six wickets for 131 in 28.4 overs. The target looked far out of sight for the visitors, and the Indian bowlers looked in complete control to finish the proceedings early.
However, a twist in the tale was waiting to greet the home team as Michael Bracewell pulled off all the hopes of Indian fans by playing a blistering knock and took the game down to the wire. The quality all-rounder smashed his second century and shifted the pressure back onto the Indian bowlers by taking them to the cleaners.
Bracewell almost took his side over the finish line before Shardul Thakur held his nerves and dismissed him in the final over to hand India a thrilling victory. The left-handed batter smashed 140 from just 78 deliveries, including 12 fours and 10 huge sixes.
Highest individual score at number 7 or below in ODIs:
170* – Luke Ronchi vs SL Dunedin 2015
146* – Marcus Stoinis vs NZ Auckland 2017
140 – Thisara Perera vs NZ Mt Maunganui 2019
140 – Michael Bracewell vs Ind Hyderabad 2023
Earlier, Shubman Gill registered history with his maiden double hundred in the 50-over format. Gill became only the fifth Indian to register 200 in ODIs. The right-handed batter, who scored a hundred in his previous ODI innings, managed to reach the landmark in the penultimate over of India’s innings. Overall, Gill smashed nine sixes and ended up slamming 208 from just 149 deliveries.
Riding on Shubman’s magical knock, the hosts managed to reach a massive 349/8 in their allotted 50 overs. For the touring party, spinner Mitchell Santner was the least expensive bowler as he conceded 56 runs in his quota of 10 overs and also got the prized scalp of Virat Kohli.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) January 18, 2023
This game has given one-day cricket such a shot in the arm. There is still time to come back.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 18, 2023
Two batting stars of first ODI: Gill & Bracewell – What an exhibition. pic.twitter.com/3Nt0GnUUDd
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 18, 2023
— ICC (@ICC) January 18, 2023
That finger slowly going up and bowling team winning with a LBW. Shardul reminded me of Shardul.
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) January 18, 2023
Finally, India needed Lord Shardul 🙏
He watched the feet of the batter. Valiant effort from M Bracewell. Yes, we have seen glimpses of what he can do in the recent past.
In these conditions (dew), a good batting unit can chase 350-360.
Matches have to start earlier in the WC
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) January 18, 2023
Shubman Gill 😮 💯 💯 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
— Danielle Wyatt (@Danni_Wyatt) January 18, 2023
A beautiful knock with each shot being more elegant than the earlier one.
— DK (@DineshKarthik) January 18, 2023
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) January 18, 2023
All class 💯💯
— Shreyas Iyer (@ShreyasIyer15) January 18, 2023
Unbelievable performance from @ShubmanGill! A double century against @BLACKCAPS is a testament to his skill and determination. Congrats on the milestone! @BCCI#DoubleCentury #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/U6qixSkMgm
— Jay Shah (@JayShah) January 18, 2023
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 18, 2023
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) January 18, 2023