Virat Kohli’s 49th ODI Century Propels India to Victory Over South Africa
In a stunning display of cricketing prowess, India clinched their eighth consecutive victory at the World Cup, hammering South Africa with a 243-run win at the Eden Gardens. Men in Blue continues to dominate the competition and has already secured the top spot in the standings.
South Africa, initially considered a formidable challenge, fell to India’s might as they were dismissed for a mere 83 runs, chasing India’s formidable total of 326/5.
As Team India embarks on a winning spree, the focus has shifted from the basics of batting, bowling, and fielding to how swiftly they can secure victories. During their resounding win against South Africa, they wrapped up the game in just 27.1 overs. In a tournament marked by one-sided contests, India’s unparalleled dominance is prompting discussions about the need for stiffer competition, even suggesting inter-squad matches between the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Rohit Sharma.
In the first innings, India’s batters wasted no time in making their presence felt, hitting a flurry of boundaries right from the opening over, with eight fours in the first four overs. Rohit Sharma was particularly aggressive, smashing five of these boundaries. He then added another four and two spectacular sixes in the following over, boosting India’s score even further.
Before this exceptional victory, the spotlight was on Virat Kohli, celebrating his 35th birthday, and the anticipation of his 49th ODI century, which would equal Sachin Tendulkar’s record. Kohli, a national icon, delighted fans at the Eden Gardens with a composed 101 not out of 121 balls.
The match began with an aggressive start from Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, bolstered by Virat Kohli’s exceptional century and Shreyas Iyer’s attacking fifty. Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja added valuable runs in the end, taking India beyond the 300-run mark.
India’s bowlers, led by Ravindra Jadeja with a five-wicket haul (5/33), struck immediately with the new ball, dismantling South Africa’s top-order in the initial Powerplay. Mohammed Siraj got India off to a great start, dismissing Quinton de Kock early in the game. India’s pace bowlers maintained the pressure with an array of dot balls.
Understanding the pitch conditions, Rohit Sharma deployed Ravindra Jadeja in the Powerplay, and this move yielded quick results as Jadeja cleaned up Temba Bavuma’s stumps. Mohammed Shami further added to South Africa’s misery when he sent Aiden Markram packing with a well-placed delivery.
South Africa’s batting lineup crumbled under India’s disciplined bowling, and the game was all but decided when Ravindra Jadeja dismissed David Miller. South Africa was eventually bowled out in the 28th over.
In the end, it was a day of unforgettable records, with Kohli reaching a century on his birthday, India’s relentless march in the World Cup, and a bowling performance that left South Africa reeling.
The batting legend Tendulkar who is a role model for Kohli, congratulated him for achieving the major milestone. In his special message for the batting maestro, former India skipper Tendulkar backed Kohli to break his world record at the ODI World Cup. “Well played Virat. It took me 365 days to go from 49 to 50 earlier this year. I hope you go from 49 to 50 and break my record in the next few days. Congratulations!!,” Tendulkar said.