Michael Bracewell produced one of the best ODI knocks in the history of New Zealand cricket but it was still not enough to give them a win in the first ODI against India in Hyderabad. The right-hander smoked 140 off 78 deliveries and almost helped New Zealand chase down 349.
Chasing a massive target, New Zealand were reduced to 131/6 at one stage and it looked like the game was dead before the 30th over. However, that’s when Bracewell and Mitchell Santner joined hands and put on 162 runs for the seventh wicket to bring New Zealand back into the game.
Bracewell was the last batter to be dismissed in the final over as the visitors fell short by only 12 runs. “We were just trying to give ourselves a chance (by building a partnership after six wickets). Unfortunately, we fell short right at the end,” said Bracewell.
“Once Mitchell and I managed to settle, we started believing. We weren't trying to win it then, just wanted to take it deep to give us a chance. We left too much to do at the end. You back yourself to get 20 runs in the last over, unfortunately, it wasn't my day today.”
New Zealand captain Tom Latham was disappointed that they couldn’t get over the line but also praised Bracewell for keeping them alive till the final over. “It was an amazing innings (from Bracewell). From 131/6, to come and play an innings like that, for him to put our team in a situation to win the game, it's outstanding,” said Latham.
“Obviously disappointing we couldn't get across the line but it was special. When you're chasing and coming at a pressure situation, to give us a chance to win that game was special. I think it probably gripped a bit more under lights, India used a lot more cutters into the wicket and it worked. Bracewell batted well and his partnership with Santner was very good to see.”