AHMEDABAD: This is a mauling the Kiwis
won’t forget for a long time.
Relishing the best batting wicket by far of this T20I series, Gill unleashing a flurry of sublime strokes on both sides of the wicket tore into the hapless New Zealanders once again, cracking a magnificent, unconquered 126, which took him just 63 balls, and contained 12 eye-catching fours and seven big sixes on Wednesday night in the third and deciding T20I at a throbbing Narendra Modi Stadium.
Shubman Gill’s maiden T20I ton helps India crush NZ to clinch series
<p>Opener Shubman Gill smashed an unbeaten 126 to help India clinch the T20 international series against New Zealand with a crushing 168-run victory in the decider on Wednesday.<br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>Gill recorded his maiden T20 century for India as he steered the team to 234-4 after they elected to bat first at the world’s biggest cricket ground in Ahmedabad.<br /></p>
<p>Gill smashed the highest score by an Indian in T20I cricket, scoring 126* in just 63 balls surpassing Virat Kohli, who had smashed 122* against Afghanistan during the Asia Cup last year in September.<br /></p>
<p>Indian bowlers skittled out the Kiwis for a paltry 66 in 12.1 overs for a 2-1 series win. The hosts had whitewashed the Kiwis in three one-day matches.<br /></p>
<p>The huge victory was India’s biggest ever in T20 internationals and the biggest margin by runs in a match played between two Test-playing nations.<br /></p>
<p>India elected to bat first on a batting-friendly pitch and Gill continued his magnificent run of form — hitting 12 fours and seven sixes in his 63-ball innings.<br /></p>
<p>Gill had also put the New Zealand bowling to the sword with a double hundred and a ton during the ODI series.<br /></p>
<p>Gill put on 103 runs for the fourth wicket with skipper Hardik Pandya, who made 30 and then took four wickets with his pace bowling, at the 132,000-seater Narendra Modi Stadium.<br /></p>
<p>Off-spinner Michael Bracewell struck early as he trapped Ishan Kishan lbw for one in the second over of the innings.<br /></p>
<p>Gill, 23, hit back with a flurry of boundaries including three in one over off Blair Tickner. Rahul Tripathi joined the charge as the two put on 80 runs.<br /></p>
<p>Tripathi, who made 22-ball 44, smashed three sixes including one off leg-spinner Ish Sodhi only to hole out the next ball in another attempt to clear the ropes.<br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>Gill, who became only the fifth Indian batsman to record centuries across all three formats, found another attacking partner in Suryakumar Yadav who smashed 24 off 13 balls as the two kept up the onslaught.<br /></p>
<p>Tickner cut short Suryakumar’s stay with Bracewell taking a sharp catch at mid-on.<br /></p>
<p>But the unstoppable Gill changed gears and raised his ton off 54 balls with a boundary as he took off his helmet and let off a roar.<br /></p>
<p>New Zealand made a horrendous start to their mammoth chase as they lost their top four for just seven runs inside three overs as Arshdeep Singh struck twice in the second over of the innings.<br /></p>
<p>Suryakumar took two spectacular catches at first slip off Pandya’s pace bowling to send back Finn Allen, for three, and Glenn Phillips, for two.<br /></p>
<p>Tearaway quick Umran Malik bowled Bracewell before Daryl Mitchell, who made 35, and skipper Mitchell Santner attempted to resist.<br /></p>
<p>Skipper Pandya led the bowling department with figures of 4/16, while Umran Malik (2/9), Shivam Mavi (2/12) and Arshdeep Singh (2/16) scalped two wickets each.<br /></p>
<p>India will now head into the hotly-anticipated four-Test series against Australia starting February 9 in Nagpur.<br /></p>
Powered by Gill’s maiden T20I hundred, India marched to 234 for 4 in 20 overs – their biggest total against New Zealand in T20Is, and fifth-biggest overall, after choosing to bat first. Fittingly, the young turk’s first century in T20Is came on his IPL home ground, where he plays for the Gujarat Titans.
Hit by ‘Gill storm,’ the clearly shell-shocked Kiwis, looking in a hurry to catch the return flight back home, then folded up for a sorry-looking 66 in 12. 1 overs-their third-lowest score in T20Is. Led by skipper Hardik Pandya (4-16), Arshdeep Singh (2-16), Umran Malik (2-9) and Shivam Mavi (2-12), India came out all guns blazing, blasting New Zealand off the park in no time. Not to be forgotten were a couple of blinders by Suryakumar Yadav at first slip.
Putting out a clinical, dominating show which saw them clinch the T20I series against the Black Caps 2-1, India raced away to a mind-boggling 168-r un win on the night the biggest victory margin in T20Is between two full member teams.
There’s a lovely ‘ritual’ that Gill, the new superstar of Indian batting, follows every time he hits a hundred. He takes off his helmet, swings it with his hand, and lets out a roar which reverberates through the stadium, perhaps even touching the roof of the biggest stand. The wild celebration, the spreading of the hands like an eagle, is concluded with a respectful bow towards all, just like an artist would acknowledge the applause to his latest masterpiece!
While Gill was the ‘superhero’ of India’s batting, Rahul Tripathi (44, 22b, 4×4, 3×6), Suryakumar Yadav (24, 13b, 1×4, 2×6) and then skipper Hardik Pandya (30, 17b, 4×4, 1×6) all played the support act in perfect fashion.
Gill’s sublime, breathtaking strokes left close to a lakh spectators at this stadium spell bound. Gill played regal drives through the covers and ferocious pulls and pick up shots to mid-wicket and lofted drives down the ground.