Virat Kohli’s Majestic Century on His Birthday Propels India to 326/5 against South Africa
Virat Kohli, the maestro of Indian cricket, celebrated his 35th birthday in grand style by notching up his highly-awaited 49th ODI century in an innings that exuded patience and determination. Kohli’s superb unbeaten century powered India to a formidable total of 326/5 against South Africa in the World Cup. The match was set in an electric atmosphere, with South Africa’s resurgence and the looming possibility of Kohli equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries.
Virat Kholi: A Masterclass Innings
Kohli, who had fallen agonizingly short of centuries in his recent innings against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, delighted the fans at the Eden Gardens with a flawless century on a challenging wicket. His century came in the 49th over, as he calmly pushed a delivery from Kagiso Rabada for a single, followed by his trademark subdued celebration. Kohli’s century was a testament to his hard work, taking 119 balls and featuring 10 well-timed boundaries.
India vs South Africa: A Historic Milestone
For Kohli, this century marked his 49th ODI hundred in 277 innings, a remarkable achievement. Comparatively, Sachin Tendulkar reached his 49th ODI century in 452 innings, underlining Kohli’s incredible consistency and dominance in the format. The relief and joy were palpable as Kohli removed his helmet, kissed his bat, and acknowledged the roaring crowd with a standing ovation.
Challenges for South Africa:
Despite Kohli’s brilliance, South Africa had their moments. Keshav Maharaj was the only bowler who managed to maintain control, delivering his full quota of overs. The Eden Gardens wicket, unlike its usual self, became slower as the game progressed, favoring spin. South Africa wisely introduced their ace spinner, Maharaj, right after the powerplay, which posed challenges for the Indian batsmen.
India vs South Africa: Battle Against Maharaj
Maharaj, aware of Kohli’s vulnerability against spin, bowled relentlessly from one end. However, Kohli displayed his exceptional skills by navigating this challenging phase. Shreyas Iyer, who was struggling for runs, received valuable support from Kohli, reminiscent of a Test-match-like partnership.
India vs South Africa: Fortunate Escape
Kohli survived a close call on 37 when he was reviewed for a caught-behind off Maharaj’s delivery. The replays revealed no edge on UltraEdge, providing Kohli with a fortunate escape. This was Maharaj’s best opportunity, but he could not capitalize on it, ending with figures of 10-0-30-1.
India vs South Africa: Dominance Against Shamsi
Tabraiz Shamsi, South Africa’s second spinner, failed to exploit the conditions as he did at Chepauk. Kohli and Iyer played with respect against Maharaj but were more assertive against Shamsi.
India vs South Africa: Rohit’s Explosive Start
At the beginning of the innings, skipper Rohit Sharma provided a blistering start, smashing a quick 40 runs off just 24 balls. However, his innings was curtailed by a brilliant catch by South Africa’s Temba Bavuma.
Virat Kohli’s remarkable century on his 35th birthday was the highlight of the match, lifting India to a formidable total against South Africa. His perseverance and dominance against the challenging conditions at the Eden Gardens showcased his class as one of the world’s premier batsmen. The battle between Kohli and Maharaj added an intriguing dimension to the match, making it a memorable contest for cricket enthusiasts worldwide.