Shubman Gill’s 208 powers India’s narrow 12-run win over New Zealand in 1st ODI at Hyderabad 

Shubman Gill became the 8th batsman in history to make an ODI double ton, on Wednesday

Michael Bracewell almost spoiled Shubman Gill‘s party after the Indian opener became only the fifth from the country and 8th batsman in the history of one-day international cricket to score a double century, in the first ODI played at the Rajiv Gandhi international cricket Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday. India clinched a narrow but thrilling victory by 12 runs to take a vital 1-0 lead with the second match of the three-game affair now to be played next in Raipur on January 21.

Shubman Gill became the quickest Indian to reach 1,000 ODI runs as he smacked 208 from just 149 balls with 9 sixes and as many as 19 boundaries to power India to a mammoth total of 349/8, against which the New Zealand side was left tottering at 131/6 at one stage. 

However, an inspiring stand for the seventh wicket between Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner brought New Zealand back into the game as they finished narrowly short of what would have been a memorable victory for the Kiwi side.

New Zealand were finally bowled out for 337 from 49.2 overs with right-arm medium fast bowler Mohammed Siraj returning with 4/46 from his 10 overs including two maidens, while the other bowlers simply disappointed. Among the other wicket takers were Kuldeep Yadav who took 2/43 from his 8 overs while Shardul Thakur was inexplicably expensive, along with Hardik Pandya and Mohammed Shami, who both got a wicket each but gave runs at nearly 7 per over.

Shardul Thakur, who accounted for the likes of Finn Allen and Michael Bracewell right at the end to win the contest for India, successfully defended 20 runs in the final over of the match. 

The left-handed Michael Bracewell struck the first ball of the final over for a six and brought the equation down to 13 needed from the last 5 balls, when Shardul Thakur, after sending down another wide, bowled a fullish delivery in front of us pads to trap the batsmen leg-before and win the contest for India in a thrilling manner.

Michael Bracewell, who was sent to bat at No 7 and finished with a spectacular score to his name, nearly upon the game for New Zealand on the back of a stunning 162 run stand from just 102 balls in the company of Mitchell Santner, who scored an impressive half-century. 

Mitchell Santner made 57 from 45 balls with 16 and seven boundaries but it was Michael Bracewell who was the star of the New Zealand batting line-up on Wednesday night, who smacked 12 boundaries and 10 sixes to make 140 from just 78 deliveries in a stunning knock.

But the day totally belonged to the young and talented Indian opening batsman Shubman Gill who not only scored his second consecutive ODI century but also doubled it up in a breathtaking manner. Shubman Gill was instrumental in taking India past the 300-run mark and as far is 349/8 since no other batsmen could make more than 34 – which came off the bat of Indian captain Rohit Sharma who once again perished after making a promising start.

Shubman Gill made many crucial partnerships along the way including 60 runs for the first wicket with Rohit Sharma, 65 runs for the fourth wicket with Suryakumar Yadav, 74 runs for the fifth wicket with Hardik Pandya and another 43 runs for the sixth wicket with Washington Sundar to propel India to a strong total after they won the toss and elected to bat.

It was perhaps a forgettable game individually for the likes of Virat Kohli (8), Ishan Kishan (5), Hardik Pandya (28) and Washington Sundar (12) who failed to press matters with the bat. With the ball, Hardik Pandya was expensive, giving away 70 runs for just 1 wicket in 7 overs while Washington Sundar was punished for 50 runs without any success in his 7 overs.