Shubman Gill's record-breaking hundred takes India to 168-run win over NZ, clinch T20I series 2-1
IND vs NZ: Shubman Gill's 126 not out and early wickets led India to their biggest ever win in T20Is during the series decider in Ahmedabad on Wednesday evening (February 01).
On Wednesday (February 01), Hardik Pandya-led India thumped New Zealand by a whopping 168 runs in the third and final T20I at the iconic Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium, Ahmedabad to clinch the series 2-1. After losing the series opener in Ranchi, the Men in Blue won a low-scoring thriller in Lucknow before wrapping up the series without dropping any sweat following Shubman Gill's record-breaking ton. Gill continued his rich vein of form versus the Kiwis -- having already scored a double hundred in the three ODIs -- to score his maiden ton in the format and take India to 234/4. During the NZ run-chase, early wickets and Suryakumar Yadav's stunning catches dented Mitchell Santner & Co. as the fate of the contest was out in no time.
Winning the toss, India opted to bat first with Umran Malik coming in place of Yuvzendra Chahal. Gill's first fifty came off 35 balls and the next off mere 19 deliveries as he created havoc in front of a jam-packed stadium in Ahmedabad. Rahul Tripathi's 22-ball 44 set the tone for the Indian innings and allowed Gill to take some time before he launched onto the poor deliveries. He remained unbeaten on 126, off 63 balls, striking at a whopping 200 along with 12 fours and 7 sixes. He was immaculate against the pacers, with his timely pulls, drives, flicks, etc., as India reached a mammoth total in 20 overs.
Indians with T20I hundreds
Gill also ended with the highest individual score by an Indian batter in the format (126*) surpassing Kohli's 122* during the 2022 Asia Cup. In addition, he is only the fifth Indian to log a hundred in all three formats of men's cricket.
Indians to score a hundred in all formats:
In reply, NZ's run-chase never got going. Hardik removed dangerman Finn Allen with an edge as SKY completed a good catch. Arshdeep Singh joined in and claimed two quick wickets with Hardik and Umran Malik adding to Kiwis' miseries. Surya accounted for another brilliant catch (ending with three overall) in the slip cordon as the match was well and truly over in a flash. The first six overs were set to give a clear indication of how the match will proceed but the visitors were 21 for 5 in less than five overs. Eventually, India finished the formalities with the Black Caps managing only a paltry 66 in 12.1 overs to win by a big margin; their biggest-ever win in the format. Overall, this is the biggest margin of win in a contest held between two full member nations.
With the series win, the Men in Blue maintain their No. 1 position in T20Is. India will now return to the 22-yard cricket strip for the much-awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy, on home soil, starting on February 09.