India’s Virat Kohli equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 one-day international hundreds as unbeaten hosts India thrashed fellow semi-finalists South Africa by 243 runs at the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup on Sunday.
Kohli’s 101 not out was the centrepiece of India’s 326-5 before they skittled out South Africa – the second-placed side in the 10-team event – for just 83, with spinner Ravindra Jadeja taking 5-33.
It was South Africa’s lowest total made at any World Cup.
Kohli, on his 35th birthday, got to the landmark in 119 balls, including 10 fours, at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. It took him just 277 innings to reach the mark compared to 438 required by Tendulkar.
Together with Shreyas Iyer (77), Kohli shared a third-wicket partnership of 134 after India captain Rohit Sharma (40) provided a stunning start on a what was a tricky pitch to bat on.
Kohli scored 60 from 57 deliveries he faced against pacers, while the numbers fell to 41 off 64 against spinners, further indicating the slow nature of the pitch.
It was the Proteas’ second-lowest ODI total, behind their 69 against Australia at Sydney in 1993 and lowest at a World Cup.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja did the bulk of the damage with 5/33, with India now assured of finishing the pool phase in top spot, while South Africa lower-order batsman Marco Jansen’s 14 was the innings’ top score.
This was South Africa’s second pool defeat following a stunning loss to non-Test side Netherlands and the gap between the top two teams on Sunday was almost as much of a shock as that reverse.
India, then had South Africa’s Quinton de Kock, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, out for just five when he played onto Mohammed Siraj before Jadeja bowled Proteas captain Temba Bavuma.
Mohammed Shami, coming off a superb five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka, struck with just his fifth ball when Aiden Markram was caught behind off a brilliant delivery that angled in and jagged away to take the outside edge.
Jadeja had dangerman Heinrich Klaasen lef before and 40-4 became 40-5 when paceman Shami overturned another original not out decision as Rassie van der Dussen was lbw for 13.
Earlier, left-arm quick Jansen, whose first over cost 17 runs, returned expensive figures of 1-94 in 9.4 overs.
Rohit launched the innings in style with a typically brisk 40 before he was well caught by Bavuma at mid-off.
Kohli carried on from where left off in his 88 against Sri Lanla with successive fours off fast bowler Kagiso Rabada.
But Keshav Maharaj, struck with just his third ball, the left-arm spinner bowling Shubman Gill (23) with a classic delivery that pitched just outside leg and turned to clip the off-stump
Kohli and Iyer, who made a blistering 82 against Sri Lanka, rebuilt in patient fashion before the accelerating Iyer holed out off Ngidi.
Here’s a look at the reactions from the match:
With inputs from AFP