On 17 November 2008 he made his first-class debut for Central Districts against Auckland, he was dismissed for a duck in the first innings before taking 1 wicket for 41 runs (1/41). A month later he made his List A debut against the same opposition, he took 2/33 and as opening batsman scored 55.
Bracewell made his Test debut against Zimbabwe in November 2011, and took 5/85 in the second innings. Bracewell became the seventh New Zealand bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul on Test debut. It is also the fifth five-wicket haul by a bowler making his debut against Zimbabwe.
In a Test match against Australia at Bellerive Oval, Hobart Bracewell ran through the Aussie batting line-up and took figures of 6/40 in only his third Test, which is the best bowling by a New Zealand bowler in Tests in nearly 5 years. He bowled Nathan Lyon to seal the win by 7 runs. It was also 26 years since New Zealand last won a test match in Australia.