India’s captain Virat Kohli made history on Wednesday when he scored his 50th one-day international century in the Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand at Mumbai. He became the first player to reach this milestone, surpassing the legendary Sachin Tendulkar who had 49 ODI tons.
Virat Kohli, who celebrated his 34th birthday earlier this month, achieved this feat in his 279th ODI innings, taking 106 balls to reach the three-figure mark. He hit eight fours and one six in his innings and brought up his century with a flick to the leg side for two runs in the 42nd over.
He dedicated his record-breaking knock to his partner Anushka Sharma, who was watching from the stands, and his idol Tendulkar, who was also present at the venue.
“This all feels like a dream. It’s too good to be true, it’s surreal. I never thought I would be here in my career,” Kohli said after his innings.
“It’s difficult to explain but if I could paint the perfect picture I would want this to be the picture: my partner, the person I love the most is sitting there, my hero [Tendulkar] is sitting there. To get to 50 hundreds in front of them and the fans at this historic venue was amazing.”
Kohli came to bat at No 3 after Rohit Sharma fell for 47 in the ninth over with India at 71-1. He shared a 93-run partnership with Shubman Gill, who retired hurt on 79, and then added another 100 runs with Shreyas Iyer, who smashed a quick-fire 50 off 35 balls.
Kohli was eventually dismissed for 117 off 113 balls in the 44th over, caught by Devon Conway off Tim Southee. He helped India post a formidable total of 337-6 in their 50 overs. Kohli has an impressive average of over 58 and a strike rate of over 93 in ODIs.
He is followed by his team-mate Sharma, who has 31 ODI centuries, on the all-time list. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting (30) and former Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya (28) are the other players who have scored more than 25 ODI hundreds.
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