New Delhi: It was a special day for Indian cricket fans as they witnessed their captain Virat Kohli score his 49th century in one-day internationals (ODIs) against South Africa at the Eden Garden ground in Kolkata. Kohli, who turned 35 today, achieved the milestone in style by hitting a six off Lungi Ngidi in the 48th over of the innings. He remained unbeaten on 101 off 120 balls, leading India to a formidable total of 326 for 6 in 50 overs.
With this century, Kohli has equaled the record of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who also has 49 ODI centuries to his name. However, Kohli has reached the mark in just 277 innings, while Tendulkar took 452 innings to do so. Kohli is also the fastest to score 12,000 ODI runs, which he achieved in his 242nd innings, breaking Tendulkar’s record of 300 innings.
Kohli has been in sublime form in the ongoing series against South Africa, scoring two half-centuries and a century in the four matches so far. He had missed out on his hundred by just 11 runs in the previous match against Sri Lanka in Mumbai but made up for it today with a masterful knock. He shared a 118-run partnership with Shreyas Iyer (63) for the third wicket and a 74-run stand with Rishabh Pant (45) for the fifth wicket to anchor the Indian innings.
Kohli’s century was also a birthday gift to his fans, who cheered him on throughout his innings. He became the seventh player in ODI history to score a century on his birthday, and the third to do so in a World Cup match. The other players who have achieved this feat are Vinod Kambli, Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, and Mitchell Marsh.
The following table shows the list of players who have scored a century on their birthday in ODIs:
|Virat Kohli||101*||South Africa||Kolkata||2023||35th|
Kohli will be hoping to continue his form in the second innings and help India defend their total against South Africa, who need 327 runs to win in 50 overs. If India wins, they will secure their spot in the semi-finals of the World Cup.