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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeCricketIndia leads New Zealand 1-0 thanks to Shubman Gill's scorching double tonne

India leads New Zealand 1-0 thanks to Shubman Gill’s scorching double tonne


In his exceptional 208 off 149 balls, Gill exuded class. He batted steadily throughout the innings to lead India to 349 for eight.

Shubman Gill put an end to the argument about who should bat first with a coming-of-age double-hundred before India held off Michael Bracewell’s onslaught to defeat New Zealand by a narrow 12-run margin in the opening ODI of the three-match series on Wednesday in Hyderabad. In his exceptional 208 off 149 balls, Gill exuded class. He batted steadily throughout the innings to lead India to 349 for eight. The second-best score of the innings and captain Rohit Sharma’s performance of 34 off 38 demonstrated how much of a one-man show it was.

Chasing a big target, New Zealand were down and out at 131 for six before Michael Bracewell (140 off 78) came up with up a stunning century to bring his team back in the game from nowhere.

He shared 162 off 102 balls with fellow left-hander Mitchell Santer (57 off 45), New Zealand’s highest seventh wicket stand in ODIs, to test India’s nerves.

Pacer Mohammed Siraj (4/46) won the game in front of his home audience by stopping New Zealand, who finished at 337.

The 23-year-old Gill took centre stage after India decided to bat and became the youngest player to ever get a double hundred in an ODI. He so surpassed Ishan Kishan, who, following a double century in Bangladesh last month, was controversially omitted from the Sri Lanka ODI team.

After showcasing his prowess at the 2018 U-19 World Cup, Gill was heralded as the upcoming star of Indian cricket. He pounded out 19 fours and nine sixes, six of which came after he reached 150. Additionally, the double century was his second straight three-digit score.

After India opted to bat, it was a good contest between the openers and New Zealand pacers as the hosts reached 52 for no loss in the first 10 overs.

Rohit once again promised a big hundred but flattered to deceive.

Lockie Ferguson was producing considerable speed from one end as usual, but Gill delivered a sharp cover shot to prevent him from recording a maiden in his subsequent over after getting lucky with a mistimed pull in the fourth over.

The Indian audience usually falls silent after a wicket, but after Rohit was dismissed, they erupted in jubilation to welcome superstar Virat Kohli.

After earning 300 points in his previous four innings, Kohli started with a crisp cover drive before being defeated by a stunning left-arm spinner Santner pitch.

After being left out against Sri Lanka, Kishan was put in the middle order, but he did not survive long either as he edged a ball that was slanted to wicketkeeper Tom Latham.

At the other end, Gill brought up his fifty with a slog sweep of off-spinner Bracewell that went all the way. The stylish opener also got a life on 45 when Latham fluffed a straight forward stumping off Bracewell with Gill expecting the ball to turn.

That was all the stroke of luck that Gill had as he did not look back from there on. He unleashed his signature pull shots off the pacers while using his feet against the spinners.

He pulled Santner to get to 99 before reaching his third ODI hundred with a single. He reserved his best shot for the post century celebrations as he whipped a full delivery from Tickner between mid-wicket and mid-on.

Following the departure of Suryakumar Yadav, Gill and Hardik Pandya (28), who was dismissed in an odd way, had a 74-run partnership.

Gill struck 150 with a six against Bracewell over deep mid-wicket as India sailed toward 300. After reaching that point, he went ballistic and scored three massive sixes off Ferguson in the 49th over to reach 200.

The fact that Gill could smash consecutive sixes was remarkable. With the help of his spectacular hitting, India scored 57 runs in the final five overs.

New Zealand needed to climb a mountain.

In front of a loud home crowd, Siraj made the initial breakthrough when his well-placed short ball hit Devon Conway hard (10).

Conway’s opening partner Finn Allen (40) played some captivating shots but was dismissed by Shahbaz Ahmed’s outstanding deep grab off Shardul Thakur.

Once again, Kuldeep Yadav impressed as he dismissed Henry Nicholls with a flawless miscue before catching Daryl Mitchell in front of the stumps with the expected incoming delivery.

With New Zealand struggling at 131 for six in the 29th over, the game looked over before Bracewell played a knock to remember. He toyed with the Indian attack, smashing 12 fours and as many as 10 sixes. He took the team on the brink of a famous win before falling short.

The second ODI of the series will be played in Raipur on Saturday.



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