HYDERABAD: Following his match-winning double century in the first ODI against New Zealand, rising India batter Shubman Gill said he was not thinking of scoring a double century initially but the sixes he hit in the 47th over made him feel that he could score one.
A top-class bowling effort from Mohammed Siraj outweighed Michael Bracewell’s heroic ton and a threatening partnership with Mitchell Santner, as India overcame a late onslaught from these two all-rounders to clinch a 12-run win over New Zealand in the first of the three-match series against the Kiwis at Hyderabad on Wednesday.
“I was waiting eagerly to go out and do what I want to do. With wickets falling, at times, I wanted to unleash. I am glad I could do it in the end. Sometimes when the bowlers are on top, you need to put the pressure back on them. The idea was to avoid dot balls, show some intent and hit hard into the gaps. That is what I focused on doing,” said Gill during the post-match presentation.
“Was not really thinking of a double century, but once I hit sixes in the 47th over, I did feel that I could get there. Before that, I was playing the ball on merit. He (Kishan) is one of my best mates. I was there when he scored his ODI double-hundred and it was special. It feels nice when you want to do something special and everything you try comes off. It (double ton) has sunk in pretty well. However, the game turned out to be much closer than we anticipated,” said Gill.
With the win, India took a 1-0 lead over the Black Caps in the three-match series.
Coming to the match, India posted a mammoth 349/8 in 50 overs, with Gill top-scoring with a knock of 208 runs. Skipper Rohit Sharma (34), Suryakumar Yadav (31) and Hardik Pandya (28) also came up with valuable knocks.
All-rounder Daryl Mitchell was the pick of the bowlers for the Kiwis with 2/30, while Henry Shipley took two wickets. Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner and Mitchell Santner picked a wicket each.
Chasing 351, Indian bowlers dominated Kiwis initially, reducing them to 131/6, with opener Finn Allen (40) being the only notable contributor.
However, a stunning seventh-wicket stand between Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner raised visions of an unlikely win for the Kiwis. The batters thrashed the Indian bowlers all around the park, with Bracewell bringing up his second ODI ton and Santner also scoring a half-century.
Siraj, after taking early wickets, helped India make a strong comeback as he dismissed Santner for 57 and breaking the 162-run stand. With 20 runs needed in the final over, Shardul Thakur dismissed Bracewell for a valiant 140 off 78 balls, studded with 12 fours and 10 sixes.
Shubman Gill was adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’ for his double ton.
Brief Scores: India 349/8 (Shubhman Gill 208, Rohit Sharma 34; Daryl Mitchell 2-30) won over New Zealand: 337 (Michael Bracewell 140, Mitchell Santner 57, Mohammed Siraj 4/46). (ANI)