India scraped past New Zealand by just 12 runs in the first ODI in Hyderabad on Wednesday (January 18) to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Shubman Gill's incredible double hundred took the hosts to a commanding total of 349/8 in their 50 overs.
For the first half of New Zealand's chase, the visitors looked down and out and it seemed like India would run away with an easy win. However, Michael Bracewell produced arguably one of the greatest innings during a chase in ODIs and almost snatched victory from the hosts' grasp.
In the end, the Men in Blue held their nerves and ensured that Gill's double-hundred didn't go in vain. There were quite a few moments in the game that kept the fans on the edge of their seats. Here's a look at three such moments:
#3 Tom Latham-Hardik Pandya controversy
Hardik Pandya was adjudged out for just 28 runs off 38 balls in the first ODI. However, many felt that he was unlucky as the third umpire made a huge blunder. Pandya looked to guide a delivery from Daryll Mitchell towards third man, but missed to make any contact with it.
Tom Latham collected the ball just above the bails and the zing bails lit up, making the Kiwis interested in a possible dismissal. Despite all the technology at their disposal, the third umpire made a rather hasty call to adjudge Hardik out.
The cricketing fraternity were certainly not amused as they posted snippets of that replay, claiming that it was Latham's gloves that dislodged the bail and not the ball. Indian fans were furious as they felt Hardik got robbed of an opportunity to score big.
#2 Shubman Gill's six to bring up his double hundred
Many questioned the Indian team management for backing Shubman Gill over Ishan Kishan as Rohit Sharma's opening partner. They felt that since Ishan had scored a double hundred in Bangladesh, he deserved a nod ahead of Gill.
However, the team stuck to Gill's consistency and the youngster repaid the faith shown in him. Gill became the fifth Indian and also the youngest player ever to score an ODI double hundred.
The way he accelerated towards the backend of the innings, especially the hat-trick of sixes to get to his double hundred, proved to be the difference between the two sides in the end as they gave India those extra 20 runs to play with.
#1 Shardul Thakur's yorker to dismiss Michael Bracewell
New Zealand were 131/6 at one stage in the chase, needing another 219 runs at almost 10 runs an over to win. Many would have believed that it would be a walk in the park for the hosts from there.
But that wasn't to be, as Michael Bracewell stepped up and got great support from Mitchell Santner at the other end. The duo added an incredible 162 runs for the seventh wicket and gave India an almighty scare.
Bracewell smashed an unbelievable hundred and continued to play his shots even after Santner was dismissed. It all came down to the last over when Bracewell smashed Shardul Thakur for a massive six.
With 13 runs needed off five balls, Thakur tried to bowl a yorker and nailed it to perfection, finding Bracewell trapped right in front. It was almost going to be an incredible win for New Zealand, but 'Lord' Thakur once again produced a clutch moment for the Men in Blue.
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