Cricket World Cup 2023: Virat Kohli century powers India past Bangladesh to maintain 100% start

ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, PuneBangladesh 256-8 (50 overs): Das 66 (82), Tanzid 51 (43); Jadeja 2-38India 261-3 (41.3 overs): Kohli 103* (97), Gill 53 (55); Hasan Miraz 2-47India won by seven wicketsScorecard. Table.

Virat Kohli scored his 48th one-day international hundred as India powered to a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh.

Set 257, India knocked off the runs with 8.3 overs to spare as Kohli moved to within one of Sachin Tendulkar’s record 49 ODI centuries.

Rohit Sharma got the chase off to a flyer and Shubman Gill scored 53 before Kohli took over and hit a six to win the game and bring up his hundred.

A fourth straight win means India remain joint-top of the group table.

After electing to bat first, Bangladesh, without injured captain Shakib Al Hasan, battled through a challenging first few overs against the new ball before openers Tanzid Hasan and Liton Das accelerated to put pressure on the India attack.

The stand reached 93 before Tanzid fell to the spin of Kuldeep Yadav the over after reaching his half-century.

India seized on the opening, slowed the scoring rate and took another two wickets before Das holed out for 66 to leave Bangladesh 137-4.

Useful contributions from Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah ensured the innings didn’t completely unravel but the momentum had been lost and Bangladesh fell well short of a total that could really challenge India.

That was brought into focus inside an over of the India reply as Rohit plundered two boundaries, and he continued in the same vain before falling two runs shy of his fifty.

Gill took his time to get set before joining the boundary barrage and Kohli was given two free-hits from the first three he faced to help get him into his stride quickly.

Such a blistering start removed any real jeopardy and after Gill was caught in the deep in the 20th over, India took a more considered, risk-free approach and calmly chipped away at the runs required.

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Kohli kept the sell-out crowd happy with some occasional sizzling strokeplay but it was KL Rahul who started the kick for home, pulling Shoriful Islam for six then four.

With Kohli within reach of his century, Rahul held off as India closed in and singles were even turned down to ensure that the former skipper had the chance to get to three figures.

And he did so in some style, clubbing a full toss from Nasum Ahmed over the leg side for six to seal the win.

  • Relive every moment of Kohli’s sublime century

India juggernaut rolls on with key men all contributing

Kohli will take the plaudits after yet another masterful knock in a chase but this was a display that showed India’s might in all areas.

It started with a mesmerising opening burst from Jasprit Bumrah, backed up by Mohammed Siraj, in which he got the new-ball hooping and Bangladesh’s openers struggled to lay a bat on him.

Bangladesh’s flurry of runs coincided with an injury that forced Hardik Pandya off midway through the ninth over – with Kohli coming on to finish it, much to the delight of the crowd.

But even a bowler down and with runs coming freely, there was no panic from the home side.

The rejuvenated Kuldeep came on to break the stand, Ravindra Jadeja continues to not only keep things tight but also pick up wickets, while also proving himself as the world’s best fielder each and every game.

Tidy bowling and sharp fielding managed to drain Bangladesh of all their early optimism and the star quality of Bumrah removed the last lingering threats of Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah.

With the bat, India’s top order is nothing but star quality. Rohit seems determined to break the spirit of every bowling attack he faces within the first five overs and Gill has the combination of touch and power that is sure to make him a star for years to come.

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As for Kohli, this is nothing he hasn’t shown countless times before but that does not make it any less impressive.

He manipulated the field, finding gaps at will, right up until the point he and Rahul were able to manufacture the chance for him to make his hundred – which he did so emphatically.

Tougher challenges await for India but, on the evidence to this point, they have got all bases covered as they bid to end their 12-year wait for an ICC title.

‘A special feeling’ – what they said

Player of the match, India’s Virat Kohli: “I wanted to make a big contribution. 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 and hang around to the end, which is what I’ve done over the years for the team.

“It’s a special feeling playing at home in front of all these people and we just want to make the most of it.”

India captain Rohit Sharma: “Ravindra Jadeja was brilliant with the ball and took a brilliant catch. But a hundred is a hundred [from Virat Kohli] – you cannot beat that.”

Former England bowler Steven Finn on BBC Test Match Special: “India look formidable at the moment. Only two teams could challenge them now I think. South Africa could post a big total. And then the camaraderie of New Zealand could pose a challenge too.

“At the moment it doesn’t look like there’s any weakness in this India line-up. Look at the scenes they’ve created as a result of Kohli getting that hundred. Had they just knocked it off, yes the India fans would have been happy but they wouldn’t be behaving like this, as they are now. And it’s things like this that galvanise team spirit. “

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew on BBC TMS: “It’s what the crowd wanted. That hundred meant a huge amount to Virat Kohli. He wanted that hundred didn’t he, really bad.”