India barely managed to win in the end !
I was actually surprised when India won the toss and opted to bat first. Batters lately prefer to chase totals in LOIs. But India opted to bat first. They did post 349 on the board, thanks to a special knock from Shubman Gill. His 208(149) meant that India had a lot on the board. I thought it was enough for India.
And at a certain stage in the game, it did look like a lot. NZ were 131/6 after 28 overs. They needed 219 more in 22 overs with just 4 wickets in hand. The game was nearly done and dusted for the visitors at the stage.
Or was it !?
Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell batted briskly. They played like they had nothing to lose. As a result, their partnership got NZ close to target. Although Santner got dismissed, Bracewell continued his carnage.
Coming in at no.7, he scored 140(78). Rarely we see such innings. India won the game eventually by 12 runs. But they would've been more relieved than happy after their victory. They had the game in their control for 75% of the game. The rest was all about if they could dismiss Santner and Bracewell or not.
Again, it's the same mistake from our bowlers - The inability to dismiss batters coming in at no.7 or lower. Mehidy Hasan won Bangladesh the series that way. Bracewell could've well ended up playing arguably the greatest ODI knock of All-time. But luckily, we survived. I hope they seriously look into dismissing the lower order batters of opponents.
Two sensational knocks. One had to end in winning cause and the other in losing cause. Being an Indian fan, I'm happy that Gill's came in winning cause. But huge respect for what Bracewell did. Surely, he has debuted late in internationals.