Kohli’s magnificent century leads to India’s victory










By Kersi Meher-Homji

It is always a treat to see Virat Kohli smash a hundred. This is because whenever he hits a mighty ton India wins.

This happened in Chennai last night in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) when India defeated South Africa by 35 runs to level the series two-all.

India had lost her fast-scoring openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan cheaply but first Kohli and Rahane (45 runs) and then Kohli and Suresh Raina (53) took control.

Kohli’s 138 off 140 balls was a delight to watch as he slammed six fours and five sixes and India totalled 8 for 299.

It was Kohli’s 23rd century in ODIs and the first against South Africa. Out of form in recent months, it was his first century in ODIs in 14 matches.

Despite skipper AB de Villier’s spirited 112, South Africa fell 35 runs short, thanks to Bhuvneshwar Kumar capturing three wickets and spinners Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra and Axar Patel tying the visiting batsmen down and eventually dismissing them.

Kohli was adjudged Man of the Match. At the presentation India’s skipper MS Dhoni paid him this complement, “Virat is somebody, right from the very start ”“ and not today, I’m talking about the ODIs when he started ”“ he was always someone who was very keen on improving his game. And even when he would get out scoring a 60 or a 70, he wanted to convert it into a hundred.

“Just watching how he plays his 50 to 60 and 100 to 110 ”“ because a lot of times these are the brackets where you see a lot of batsmen getting out. So once he crosses that, with the kind of mindset he has, he will always play a big innings.”

On Sunday is the series-deciding fifth and final ODI in Mumbai on Sunday. It will be a screamer as both teams are well-matched.

The first three ODIs in India this month had six-appeal. Four out of six innings in the first three ODIs finished with sixes. These were hit by South Africa’s captain AB de Villiers in the first ODI in Kanpur, by India’s captain MS Dhoni in the second ODI in Indore and by Farhaan Behardien (SA) and Axar Patel (India) in the third ODI in Rajkot.

The ODIs will be followed by four Tests, starting in Mohali on 5 November.



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