Wednesday, November 15, 2023
India's Virat Kohli struck a record 50th hundred in one-dayers to power the unbeaten hosts to 397 for four wickets against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
Kohli's knock of 117, which came off 113 balls, gave him the record for the highest number of centuries in the 50-overs format of the game, taking him past Sachin Tendulkar with the Indian batting great present in the stands to applaud.
After scampering for two runs off fast bowler Lockie Ferguson to get to his mark, Kohli took off his helmet and bowed to the stands where television cameras showed Tendulkar and former England soccer captain David Beckham standing and clapping in appreciation.
The 35-year-old hit nine fours and two sixes before holing out in the deep off fast bowler Tim Southee, who took three wickets for 100.
Shreyas Iyer's blistering 105, which came off just 70 balls and was studded with four fours and eight sixes, provided the late fireworks for India's innings.
India captain Rohit Sharma, who made 47, won the toss and decided to bat and gave the hosts a rollicking start with a 71-run opening stand with Shubman Gill.
Gill retired hurt due to leg cramps but returned later to bat again, remaining unbeaten on 80.
The venue, where India won their last 50-overs World Cup title, has hosted four day-night contests so far at this tournament with three of those being won by the team batting first.
Australia were the only team to win batting second at the ground after Glenn Maxwell hit an unbeaten double hundred.
India have looked invincible so far, winning all nine of their round robin matches including a four-wicket victory over the Black Caps in Dharamsala. New Zealand, however, defeated India at the same stage of the 2019 edition.
Australia and South Africa will meet in the second semi-final at Kolkata's Eden Gardens, with the final to be held on Sunday in Ahmedabad.