Virat Kohli fell just 12 runs short of equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries as he made 88 to drive India to 357/8 in 50 overs in India’s World Cup league-stage game against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.
Kohli, who walked in at the fall of skipper Rohit Sharma, dismissed for just four on the second ball of the match, hit 11 fours during his 94-ball stay and shared a 189-run stand for the second wicket with Shubman Gill, who made 92 off 92 balls (11x4s, 1×6).
The former India skipper has four half-centuries and one century in seven innings of the World Cup and has 442 runs in the tournament.
The 34-year-old, who was born and grew up in Delhi, survived a caught and bowled chance in the sixth over when he was on 10. However, he raced to a fifty off just 50 balls and looked in prime form while reaching the first milestone as he played his trademark drives on a pitch that looked very good for batting.
Gill too got into his groove to score his second half-century of the tournament.
However, just as Gill looked set for a century he fell caught behind to Dilshan Madushanka, who had earlier picked Sharma.
Madushanka then returned to remove Kohli with a slower ball leaving the crowd stunned.
Shreyas Iyer then scored 82 off 56 balls (3x4s, 6x6s) to take India to the eventual total.