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Virat Kohli equals Sachin Tendulkar’s record with 49th oneday international century

Virat Kohli equalled the record of fellow India great Sachin Tendulkar after hitting his 49th one-day international century in a dominant 243-run win for the hosts against South Africa in the World Cup in Kolkata.

Kohli, on his 35th birthday, hit 101 not out from 121 balls, sending the crowd at Eden Gardens into a frenzy.

His superb knock helped India post 326-5 from their 50 overs. South Africa were then skittled out for just 89 after 27.1 overs.

It means India are assured of top spot after winning all eight of their groupstage matches.

South Africa, who have already secured a semi-final place, are second on 12 points, two points ahead of Australia in third.

Kohli put on 134 for the third wicket to anchor the India innings with Shreyas Iyer, who came to the crease in the 11th over with the score 92-2 following a typically explosive start by Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. Shreyas was eventually dismissed by Lungi Ngidi for 77 from 87 deliveries, before an energetic 22 from 14 balls from Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten 29 from 15 saw the innings end with a flourish. India’s powerful seam attack was backed up by their spinners to breeze through the South Africa batting line-up, with Jadeja the pick of the bowlers taking 5-33.

With India and South Africa leading the way at the top, this match was a potential dress rehearsal for the World Cup final in Ahmedabad later this month.

The convincing nature of this win will do little to alter India’s status as heavy favourites to lift the trophy for a third time.

Kohli draws level with the ‘Little Master’

Eden Gardens became a sea of light as the crowd lit up their mobile phones in anticipation when Jadeja nudged a single off Kagiso Rabada to bring Kohli on strike on 99 in the 49th over. Kohli pushed the next ball to cover for a single to spark huge celebrations in the stands, with Kohli calmly raising his bat before taking off his helmet and looking to the sky.

“Every opportunity to play for India is a big one and to do this on my birthday in front of a huge crowd is the stuff of dreams. It is something you dream about as a child,” said Kohli, whose innings included 10 fours. “I am just happy to help the team as much as possible.”

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2023-11-07T08:00:00.0000000Z

2023-11-07T08:00:00.0000000Z

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