The 31-year-old New Zealand National Cricket Team all-rounder Michael Bracewell equalled the legendary India National Cricket Team wicketkeeper-batter MS Dhoni’s rare record with his stupendous knock against the Rohit Sharma-led India National Cricket Team in the ODI series opener at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad on Wednesday, January 18.
Winning the toss and batting first, India posted a humongous total of 349/8 in 50 overs with the help of Shubman Gill’s astonishing knock. The Punjab-born batter smashed sensational 208 runs off 149 balls, including 19 boundaries and 9 maximums.
Chasing the target, New Zealand lost wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 131/6, with all the premier batters going back to the dugout. Then came an unexpected for India as Michael Bracewell showcased a batting masterclass and stitched up a remarkable partnership with Mitchell Santner to steer the Kiwis to the recovery.
Bracewell played an attacking brand of cricket and smashed the bowlers all over the park to complete his ton off just 57 balls. The local lad Mohammed Siraj broke the 162-run stand between the Kiwi all-rounders by dismissing Mitchell Santner in the 46th over.
In the end, the equation came down to 20 off 6 and Shardul Thakur was bowling the final over to Bracewell. On the first ball, the Kiwi all-rounder smashed a six, but the pacer had the last laugh to seal the deal as on the second ball he nailed a perfect yorker to trap Bracewell and bundle out the Black Caps for 337.
Michael Bracewell scored spectacular 140 runs off 78 balls, including 12 fours and 10 sixes, to give India a mighty scare, but in the end, there was a heartbreak for the New Zealand all-rounder.
Michael Bracewell Equals MS Dhoni’s Century-Hitting Record
Bracewell’s century against India was his second in 50-over cricket for the Black Caps and he equalled legendary Indian captain MS Dhoni’s rare record of being the only batter to score more than one century from No.7 or lower in ODIs. Overall, 18 different players have hit one century while batting at No.7 or lower in ODIs and only Dhoni and Bracewell have smashed two.
Talking further about records, Bracewell’s 57-ball ton against India is the third-fastest hundred by a New Zealand batter in men’s ODIs after Corey Anderson (36 balls) and Jesse Ryder (46 balls). Also, his century is the second fastest against India in ODIs, behind Shahid Afridi’s 45-ball century.
Bracewell’s 140 is the joint-third-highest score by a batter from No.7 or lower in ODIs. Only Luke Ronchi (170*) and Marcus Stoinis (146*) have made higher scores from No.7 or lower in men’s ODIs. Also, the 162-run partnership between Bracewell and Santner is the third-highest seventh-wicket stand in men’s ODIs.