India claimed a thrilling 12-run victory over New Zealand after Shubman Gill scored a sensational double-century and with that India goes 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series. Chasing 350, Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner stitched a 162-run partnership to keep their side alive in the contest. Bracewell played masterclass innings of 140 runs off just 78 balls and took the game until the final over. But Sharul Thakur bowled a brilliant yorker to dismiss Bracewell and sealed the win for India.
Batting first, India got off to a steady start as skipper Rohit Sharma and Gill added 60 runs in 12 overs. Blair Tickner drew the first blood by dismissing Rohit for 34. Very soon, Santner cleaned up Virat Kohli for just 8. Much-expected Ishan Kishan went back for 5 while Suryakumar Yadav chipped in with 31.
Gill batted superbly and troubled the visitors with his excellent shot-making skills. The right-handed batter smashed hattrick sixes to reach his double century. The 23-year-old opener became the youngest cricketer to hit a double ton in ODIs. Gill smashed 208 runs, hitting 19 fours and 9 sixes, and helped India to post an enormous total of 349/8 in 50 overs.
In reply, the Black Caps’ opener Finn Allen scored 40 runs to give a good start but the rest of the batters did very little. Indian bowlers took regular wickets to reduce the visitors to 131/6. But Bracewell and Santner (57) batted in an emphatic way to challenge India. After losing his partner, Bracewell fought single-handedly but failed to take his team home. Bracewell won the hearts of many cricket fans with his sensational batting.