Team India beat New Zealand by 12 runs in the opening ODI of the three-match series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday, January 18. However, it was not before Kiwi all-rounder Michael Bracewell gave them a scare with a superlative hundred.
The Men in Blue batted first after winning the toss and posted an imposing 349/8 on the board. Opener Shubman Gill led the charge for India with a sensational 208 off 149 balls, a knock that featured 19 fours and nine sixes. The 23-year-old thus became the youngest player to notch up an ODI double hundred and the fifth from India after Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, and Ishan Kishan.
Chasing 350, New Zealand were six down for 131 and the game seemed to be heading towards a one-sided win for the hosts. However, Bracewell put up a tremendous display of clean hitting, striking 12 fours and 10 sixes in his 78-ball 140. The left-handed batter was the last man out with the score reading 337 as his wonderful knock went in vain.
In the wake of Bracewell’s valiant innings, we look at five previous instances where stunning ODI hundreds against Team India came in a losing cause during a chase.
#5 Dasun Shanaka - Sri Lanka (108* off 88)
Sri Lanka’s white-ball skipper Dasun Shanaka loves batting against Team India. Another instance of the same was evident during the first ODI in Guwahati earlier this month. Chasing 374 for victory, the Lankans were eight down for 206. The match looked like one-way traffic until Shanaka went berserk.
The right-handed batter struck 12 fours and three sixes in his 88-ball 108*. Despite his brilliance, Sri Lanka fell well short of the target. However, the ninth-wicket partnership added an unbroken 100 as the visitors finished on 306/8.
Batting first, Team India put up 373/7 on the board as Virat Kohli struck 113 off 87, Rohit Sharma 83 off 67, and fellow opener Gill 70 from 60.
#4 Sikandar Raza - Zimbabwe (115 off 95)
Seasoned Zimbabwe batter Sikandar Raza has played some fine knocks for his team over the last couple of seasons. One of those came in Harare during India’s tour of Zimbabwe in August 2022. The hosts were set to chase 290 and Raza almost single-handedly pulled his side over the line.
Zimbabwe found themselves in big trouble at 169/7 in the chase. However, Raza launched an exceptional counter-attack to catch Team India off-guard. His 95-ball 115 featured nine fours and three sixes.
Raza was the ninth man out with the score reading 275 in the 49th over, caught in the deep while trying to take on Shardul Thakur. Zimbabwe were bowled out for 276 as India sneaked home by 13 runs.
The visitors’ innings was built around Gill’s maiden ODI hundred. The elegant right-hander hit 15 fours and a six in his 130 off 97 balls as India posted 289/8.
#3 Eoin Morgan - England (102 off 81)
In the Cuttack ODI against Team India in January 2017, Eoin Morgan led from the front with 102 off 81 after England were set to chase 382. Jason Roy (82) and Joe Root (54) set a good platform for the visitors, but they needed someone to take the attack to the Indian bowlers.
Morgan went hammer and tongs, clobbering six fours and five sixes in his 81-ball knock of 102. Even as England lost wickets at the other end, their skipper kept the team’s hopes alive. However, he was run out in the penultimate over in a desperate attempt to retain the strike. The visitors eventually went down by 15 runs, finishing on 366/8.
Earlier, batting first, Team India put up an impressive 381/6 on the board. Yuvraj Singh starred with 150 off 127 balls, while MS Dhoni struck 134 off 122. The veteran duo turned back the clock, adding 256 runs for the fourth wicket.
#2 James Faulkner - Australia (116 off 73 balls)
Former Australian all-rounder James Faulkner was trending on Twitter on Wednesday as Bracewell’s assault brought back memories of his stunning hundred against Team India a decade ago. Australia were set to chase 384 in the Bengaluru ODI in November 2013.
The Aussie crumbled under the pressure of a big total and were struggling at 138/6 in the 23rd over. Like Bracewell, Faulkner also batted with absolute freedom as he had nothing to lose.
Faulkner slammed 11 fours and six sixes in his 73-ball 116. He was the last man to be dismissed, ironically off a full-toss from Mohammed Shami. Thanks to Faulkner’s fighting knock, Australia ended their innings on a respectable 326.
Team India’s total of 382/6 was built around skipper Rohit Sharma’s 209 off 158 balls. Shikhar Dhawan contributed 60 off 57 and skipper Dhoni 62 off 38.
#1 Tillakaratne Dilshan - Sri Lanka (160 off 124)
Former Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan loved batting against India and almost pulled off a heroic win for his team in a massive chase at Rajkot in December 2009. After the hosts put up an imposing 414/7 batting first, they would have been confident of an easy win. However, Dilshan threw all their plans out of the window.
The aggressive Lankan batter took on the Indian bowling from the word go and pounded them for 20 fours and three sixes. Dilshan’s superb 160-run knock off only 124 deliveries ended when he was bowled by Harbhajan Singh.
However, at 339/4 in the 40th over, Sri Lanka were still in the game. They kept going hard, but eventually ended tantalizingly short of the target, finishing on 411/8.
Earlier, Virender Sehwag hammered a typically aggressive 146 off 102 deliveries as Team India put up a 400-plus score on the board. Dhoni (72 off 53) and Sachin Tendulkar (69 off 63) also came up with handy contributions.
Also Read: 3 reasons why Ajinkya Rahane's comeback to the Indian Test team is almost impossible
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.