Virat Kohli reached a record 50th one-day international century during India’s Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in Mumbai.
The batter matched fellow India icon Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 tons in the 50-over format during the host nation’s 243-run win over South Africa in the group stage on November 5 in Kolkata.
Kohli followed that birthday ton up by setting a new record of 50 centuries in Wednesday’s knock-out clash with 2019 World Cup runners-up New Zealand after India opted to bat first, reaching the milestone in his 279th ODI innings from 106 balls.
Batting at No 3, the right-hander came to the crease with India 71-1 in the ninth over following Rohit Sharma’s dismissal for 47 and formed part of a second wicket stand of 93 with Shubman Gill before the opener had to retire hurt on 79.
At the time of reaching his record century, Kohli and Shreyas Iyer, who raced past the half-century mark in just 35 balls as well, were part of an unbeaten century stand as the hosts aimed to put up a big target for New Zealand to chase.
His hundred include eight fours and one six, and he brought it up by running two with a deft flick to the leg side in the 42nd over.
After breaking the record, Kohli started to cut loose and was eventually dismissed for 117 from 113 balls with six overs of India’s innings remaining, being caught in the deep by Devon Conway off Tim Southee. He averages over 58 with the bat in ODIs with a strike rate above 93.
Kohli’s team-mate Sharma is third behind Tendulkar on the all-time list with 31 hundreds, followed by former Australia batter Ricky Ponting (30) and ex-Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya (28).
The highest-ranked English batter is Joe Root on 16.
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