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Ton-up Kohli stars as India overwhelm Bangladesh in World Cup

by Central News Reporter
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Ton-up Kohli stars as India overwhelm Bangladesh in World Cup

(AFP) –

Virat Kohli’s unbeaten century sealed India’s fourth win from four World Cup matches as the hosts defeated Bangladesh by seven wickets on Thursday with the star batsman closing in on Sachin Tendulkar’s record for ODI hundreds.

On the attack: India's Virat Kohli hits out during his World Cup fifty against Bangladesh
On the attack: India’s Virat Kohli hits out during his World Cup fifty against Bangladesh © Punit PARANJPE / AFP

Kohli reached his century and ended the match in style with a six against spinner Nasum Ahmed when he needed three runs to complete his century and India two more runs to reach a target of 257.

They got there with more than eight overs to spare, finishing on 261-3.

Kohli’s 48th one-day international century left him just one shy of equalling India great Tendulkar’s all-time record of 49 hundreds at this level.

Kohli faced 97 balls, including six fours and four sixes, with this century his third score in excess of fifty in four innings following contributions of 85 and 55 not out in recent pool wins over Australia and Afghanistan.

But for Bangladesh, a third defeat in four matches left them with an uphill struggle to qualify for the semi-finals.

Chants of “Kohli!, Kohli!” rang round a crowd of over 33,000 as the former captain reached his third World Cup hundred and second against Bangladesh in style.

“I wanted to make a big contribution,” said player of the match Kohli at the presentation ceremony.

“I’ve had a few fifties in World Cups and haven’t converted them so I just wanted to finish the game off this time around,” added Kohli, who played alongside Tendulkar in India’s 2011 World Cup-winning team.

The stage was set for Kohli by an opening partnership of 88 between India skipper Rohit Sharma (48) and Shubman Gill (53).

Rohit signalled India’s intentions with a second-ball cover-driven four off Shoriful Islam as Bangladesh bowling coach Allan Donald, the former South Africa spearhead, looked on.

Rohit, fresh from scores of 131 and 86 against Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively, hooked Hasan Mahmud for a huge six only to hole out when trying to repeat the shot next ball.

‘Cannot beat that’

Kohli, however, was soon into his stride with a four — off a free hit — and a sublime straight six from successive Mahmud deliveries.

Earlier, spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja sparked a top-order collapse

The Tigers, who had won three of their four previous ODIs against India, were held to 256-8, having been well-placed at 93 without loss, after stand-in skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto, leading the side in place of injured all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, won the toss.

Jadeja took a miserly 2-38 from his 10 overs and Yadav 1-47.

“He was brilliant with the ball and took a brilliant catch,” said Rohit of Jadeja. “But a hundred is a hundred (from Kohli) — you cannot beat that.”

Tanzid Hasan, whose 51 was the left-hander’s maiden ODI fifty, and Liton Das (66) shared a fine opening stand only for Bangladesh to slump to 137-4.

The 22-year-old Tanzid was lbw to left-arm wrist-spinner Yadav before Liton carelessly lofted Jadeja to long-off.

“We did not play our best game,” said Najmul, who addded he hoped Shakib would be fit to face South Africa in Mumbai on Tuesday.”

“If Tanzid and Litton batted longer, it could have been a different ball-game.

India were a bowler down after Hardik Pandya managed just three balls in the ninth over before limping off with ankle damage.

Kohli, bowling in an ODI for the first time in six years, completed Pandya’s over.

“There is no major damage, that is good for us,” said Rohit of all-rounder Pandya. “But obviously with an injury like that, we have to assess every day.”

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