Gill’s double ton helps India survive Michael Bracewell blitz

India defeated New Zealand by 12 runs in the first One-Day International on Wednesday despite a blistering hundred from Michael Bracewell which followed Shubman Gill’s double ton for the home side.

The hosts were India looked to be coasting to victory at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad, with New Zealand in deep trouble at 131-6 while chasing 350 after opener Gill scored 208, which is the just the 10th double hundred in the ODI history.

But all-rounder Bracewell had other ideas as he responded by making 140 off 78 balls before falling in the final over when he was pinned leg before wicket by Shardul Thakur.

Disciplined early spells by India fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj restricted New Zealand before Bracewell’s late fireworks gave them hope of a sensational win.

Finn Allen struck a breezy 40 at the top of the order but New Zealand were facing a heavy defeat once Siraj removed Tom Latham for the sixth wicket.

Bracewell was then joined by left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, who hit 57 of 45 balls as part of an impressive 162-run partnership before falling to Siraj.

The Kiwi all-rounder produced a batting masterclass, smacking 12 fours and 10 sixes, as he kept the visitors in the contest and took the game until the final over, where he was the last player to be sent packing as they were bowled out with four balls to spare.

Siraj was the pick of the bowlers with 4-46 while Kuldeep Yadav and Thakur bagged two wickets each for India.

Earlier, the 23-year-old Gill helped India post a formidable total of 349-8 after an innings spanning 149 balls and featuring 19 fours and nine sixes.

Apart from Gill, the rest of India’s batting order struggled to add runs, with their captain, Rohit Sharma, making the second-highest contribution with 34 before he was the first man out and big-hitting Virat Kohli soon followed for just eight after he was bowled by Santner.

Lockie Ferguson also removed Ishan Kishan cheaply but Gill received support from Suryakumar Yadav (31) and Hardik Pandya (28) before holing out to deep mid-wicket in the final over.

The second ODI will be in Raipur on Saturday followed by the third game in Indore on Tuesday. The teams are due to play three Twenty20 internationals after the ODI series.

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