Shreyas Iyer continued his purple patch with the bat in limited-overs cricket as he notched up his maiden ODI ton to power India to a massive 347/4 in 50 overs in the first ODI against New Zealand in Hamilton on Wednesday. Batting at the designated number four spot, Iyer looked determined and hungry right from the word go as he mixed caution with aggression brilliantly at Seddon Park.

The 25-year-old Iyer, who had scored six half-centuries against his name before this knock, achieved the feat in his 16th ODI in India colours. His previous best in ODIs was 88 which came against Sri Lanka in 2017.

Joining forces with India captain Virat Kohli in the middle, Iyer, who struggled to get going early on making the most of his luck, batting with the discipline to lay a solid foundation for India, who lost their debuting opening combination of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal inside the first 10 overs.

Iyer knitted a crucial 102-run stand with skipper Kohli for the third wicket. He continued on after Kohli’s wicket and took charge of the proceedings – after reaching his fifty.

Rahul, who has been in the form of his life on the ongoing tour, continued from where he left in the T20Is, and made sure runs come thick and fast for the visitors. Both shared a 136-run partnership before Iyer got out after playing a knock of 103. The Mumbai batsman reached the triple-figure mark in 101 balls and his knock comprised 11 fours and one six.

Iyer also enjoyed a bit of luck as he was dropped thrice during his innings – on 8, 15 and 83 – by the hosts, who were ordinary on the field. While the first two chances – at the point for Ross Taylor and at mid-off for Tim Southee were only half-chances, Colin de Grandhomme made a hash of a regulation a catch at long-off.

Earlier, after being put in to bat, debutants Shaw and Agarwal provided India with a steady start. Despite facing initial trouble against the moving ball, the duo got through the tough phase and stitched a 50-run opening stand.

However, both Shaw and Mayank failed to capitalise on their starts as they got out in successive overs. While Shaw (20) was the first to go as he got a peach of a delivery from Colin de Grandhomme, Agarwal tried to be over aggressive and in the process gifted his wicket to Southee after contributing with 32. Kohli contributed with 51 before falling to leg-spinner Ish Sodhi’s googly, Rahul was at his belligerent best remaining unbeaten on 88 off 64 balls. Kedar Jadhav also provided a late flourish with a handy cameo of 26 off 15 balls.

For NZ, Hamish Bennett had a forgettable day, going for 77 runs off his 10 overs and remained wicketless. Even though the experienced Southree was taken for 85 runs in his ten, he claimed two wickets.