CWC: India wrap up four in four as Virat cracks century

Pune, (UNI) India wrapped up their fourth win by seven wickets in as many games at the Men’s World cup with Virat Kohli getting his 48th ODI century at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium here on Thursday.

Kohli finished with an unbeaten 103 from 97 balls, and he reached his century with a six to conceal the match and ex-captain completed the half work done by Indian openers – Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill.

Kohli delighted the fans, not only with his bat, but also rolled his arms three times in an unfinished over of Hardik pandya who hobbled out after sustaining an injury.

Victory for India leaves them joint top of the table with New Zealand, with both teams having won all four of their games to date and the Kiwis in top spot thanks to a superior net run rate.

India made runs in a hurry, chasing a target of 257, as the openers added 63 runs without losing a wicket in the first Powerplay. Rohit looked in ominous touch as he raced to 37 from his first 33 balls.

India suffered the first jolt when Rohit was dismissed two short of a well-deserved half-century. But, India’s score rolled on at a good pace with the arrival of Kohli who fired two boundaries to beef up the run rate.

Gill departed after scoring a lovely 53 to Mehidy Hasan Miraz, but his wicket too did not hinder the run rate. Shreyas Iyer and Kohli administered India to 161/2 in 25 overs.

Iyer was caught off Miraz’s bowling, and KL Rahul joined Kohli who immediately reached to his fifty as he churned runs off the Bangladesh attack. The duo took India home with 51 balls to spare.

Towards the end, it was all Kohli in action as the pair gave an opportunity to him to get to his third World Cup century. Rahul milked 34 off as many balls and remained unbeaten.

Earlier, India came back strongly to restrict Bangladesh to 256/8 as Tanzid Hasan and Litton Das smashed sparkling fifties to stitch 93 runs for the opening wicket.

The Bangladesh openers started off the innings carefully, garnering only 10 runs off the first five overs. They picked pace by gathering 27 runs in next three overs by taking on Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.

A shocker befell India when Hardik Pandya was hobbled off the field after hurting his ankle while trying to stop a ball on his run up. The remaining over was completed by Virat Kohli. Tanzid fleeced 16 off Shardul Thakur in the last over of the first Powerplay.

Like India have been doing of late, their spinners smothered the run flow of Bangladesh and scripted crucial breakthroughs.

Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja got LBW decisions in their favour, picking up the wickets of Tanzid (5 off 43 5×4 3×6) and Najmul (8), respectively.

Soon after Miraz (3) walked in to strike, Rohit re-employed Mohammed Siraj, and he did not disappoint and got rid of him after a sparkling catch by Rahul behind the stumps.

At the middle innings mark, Bangladesh had added 68 runs with the loss of three wickets. This pushed Bangladesh into a sort of a hole which culminated in the dismal of Das, who made 66 off 82 balls with 7 boundaries. He was caught by Shubman Gill off Jadeja in the 28th over.

India managed to push through a number of low-scoring overs, before Mushfiqur Rahim tried to take the charge in the 32nd over with a six.

India’s seamers came back strongly to stymie the late rush of Bangladesh in the end overs, with Shardul removing Towhid Hridoy caught by Gill for a 35-ball 16.

Bumrah picked up the all-important wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim for 38 to cramp the chances of Bangladesh switching gears. Siraj came back from an injury scare and scalped Nasum Ahmed for 14 as the innings neared completion.

Siraj, returning after a scare over a finger injury, removed Nasum Ahmed as the innings approached its close.

But, the resplendent Mahmudullah bolstered Bangladesh to a respectable total with 36-ball 46 runs, before he was clean bowled by a wonderful ball in the final over of the innings.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 256/8 in 50 overs (Litton Das 66, Tanzid Hasan 51; Ravindra Jadeja 2/38) lost to India 261/3 in 41.3 overs (Virat Kohli 103*, Shubman Gill 53; Mehidy Hasan 2/47) by 7 wickets.

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