Virat Kohli Equals Sachin Tendulkar’s ODI Century Record

India’s Virat Kohli celebrated his 35th birthday by equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 one-day international (ODI) centuries in a World Cup pool match at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on Sunday. Kohli’s unbeaten 101 not out was the centrepiece of India’s total of 326-5, with a partnership of 134 alongside Shreyas Iyer, who scored 77, after Rohit Sharma won the toss.

Kohli reached his 49th ODI century in 119 balls, including 10 fours, matching Tendulkar’s milestone. It took him 277 innings to achieve this record, while Tendulkar had required 438 innings to reach the same milestone.

India, renowned for their dominant performance, recently dismissed Sri Lanka for just 55, the lowest total by any Test side in a World Cup. They continued their impressive form by restricting South Africa to a mere 83, their second-lowest ODI total in history.

Ravindra Jadeja played a pivotal role in India’s bowling attack, taking 5-33, while South Africa’s Marco Jansen managed to score only 14 runs. South Africa, coming off a surprising loss to non-Test side Netherlands, suffered their second defeat in the pool stage, with a performance gap that was unexpectedly wide.

Virat Kohli, now averaging over 108 in the World Cup, expressed his joy, saying, “Every opportunity to play for India is a big one, to be able to score a century on my birthday is the stuff of dreams. It is something you dream about as a child.” Sachin Tendulkar, the retired Indian cricket legend, congratulated Kohli and playfully remarked, “It took me 365 days to go from 49 to 50 (years old) earlier this year. I hope you go from 49 to 50 and break my record in the next few days. Congratulations.”

India’s impressive performance was further highlighted by the early dismissal of South Africa’s key players, including Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, and Heinrich Klaasen. Despite a strong start by Rohit Sharma, Kohli carried the innings forward and reached his century with the support of Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer.

The victory solidified India’s position as the top team in the pool, and their unbeaten streak in the tournament continued.

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