India’s ace batsman Virat Kohli equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 one-day international hundreds in a World Cup match against South Africa on Sunday. Kohli, who turns 35 today, reached his century at Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 119 balls, with 10 fours. He needed 277 innings to reach 49 hundreds at this level, whereas Tendulkar needed 438. Unbeaten tournament hosts India scored 326-5 in 50 overs, with Kohli’s 101 not out being the highlight.
Virat Kohli equals Tendulkar’s record with 49th ODI century at 35th birthday
Together with Shreyas Iyer (77) he had a third-wicket partnership of 134 after India skipper Rohit Sharma (40) had won the toss on what turned out to be a challenging pitch. India and South Africa, who are in second place but have only lost once (against a non-Test side in the Netherlands), have already secured their spots in the tournament’s final four.
Kohli made his ODI debut in Sri Lanka in 2007, and he scored his first century in 2008, again against Sri Lanka, at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. After Virender Sehwag, Tendulkar, and Gautam Gambhir, the 21-year-old Kohli stepped to the crease as the fourth batter.
India reached their target of 316 with 11 balls and seven wickets to spare thanks in large part to his 107 runs and a 224-run third-wicket stand with Gambhir, who scored an unbeaten 150. This was the beginning of Kohli’s reign as the lord of the chase, and it solidified his reputation as a reliable batsman.