Ahmedabad: Shubman Gill (126 n o, 63b, 12×4, 7×6) smashed a whirlwind unbeaten century, his maiden ton in the shortest format, to power India to an imposing 234 for four against New Zealand in the series-deciding third T20 International here Wednesday. Subhman Gill continued his fine form and showcased his array of shots, hitting the New Zealand bowlers to all parts of the Narendra Modi Stadium here. In the process, Gill joined Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as the third Indian to have centuries in all the three formats of the game.
But the start was far from rosy for India after electing to bat as Mitchell Santner made a master-stroke decision by handing Michael Bracewell the second over and the off-spinner reposed his captain’s faith by removing an out-of-form Ishan Kishan, who was adjudged LBW with the second ball of the over.
In-form Gill struck two boundaries off Lockie Ferguson in the next over. Gill was at his ominous best, be it pick up hits, drives or pulls to continue his onslaught. He hit Blair Tickner for three fours in the fifth over as India reached 44 for 1.
Young Rahul Tripathi (44, 22b, 4x4m 3×6), who has immense potential but is yet to fire in the series, then struck Ferguson for a boundary and a six in consecutive balls to keep up the tempo. Tripathi then pulled Santner over short-fine leg before coming down and lofting the left-arm spinner for a straight six.
Tripathi showed his attacking class and dispatched Ish Sodhi over extra cover for his third six of the innings but perished in the next ball in search of one too many, holing out at deep square leg to Ferguson.
Gill reached his maiden T20I fifty off 35 balls with a single off Santner. While Gill held one end, Suryakumar Yadav (24, 13b, 1×4, 2×6) showed glimpses of his class but fell in the 13th over, brilliantly caught by Bracewell at mid-off as the batter mistimed his shot.
Gill brought up his century with a four over the mid-off fielder off the bowling of Ferguson in the first ball of the 18th over. He broke free and clobbered Ferguson over mid-wicket for a huge six in the next ball. It was mayhem as skipper Hardik Pandya (30, 17b, 3×4, 1×6) too went ballistic.
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