Kohli demolishes Pakistan in record chase


India 330 for 4 (Kohli 183, Rohit 68, Tendulkar 52) beat Pakistan 329 for 6 (Hafeez 105, Jamshed 112, Younis 52) by six wickets

Sachin Tendulkar plays an upper cut for six, India v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur, March 18, 2012

Sachin Tendulkar made an aggressive 52 to give India a brisk start © AFP

 

 

Their bowling might struggle to defend 289 against Bangladesh. Their batting might not be resilient enough to dominate in all conditions. But in the subcontinent, India are the masters of the chase. And after having knocked off 321 in 36.4 overs in Hobart barely three weeks ago, they completed their highest successful ODI chase, in Mirpur, against Pakistan, who are not exactly a weak bowling side. And leading the mammoth effort was that man Virat Kohli who scored a career-best 183. Forget the obscenities, forget the extreme emotions; with 11 hundreds, including three in his last four innings, Kohli is one of the most complete ODI batsmen in the world now.

 

When a boundary is needed, Kohli is the man. When the singles are needed, Kohli is the man. When a gap is to be found, Kohli is the man. He kept doing all of that for 148 deliveries against Pakistan. By the time he was done, he had hit 23 boundaries and made 183. India had lost Gautam Gambhir off the second ball of the innings. They lost just one more wicket in the next 272. Kohli’s dominance was so complete, it left contrasting support performances from Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma in the shade. It certainly meant Mohammad Hafeez’s and Nasir Jamshed’s centuries were in vain, as was their 224-run opening stand, Pakistan’s highest against India, and their second-highest ever.

 

Not losing by a bonus point put Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup; it kept India and Bangladesh dependent on the result of the last league game between the hosts and Sri Lanka, who have been knocked out. A win for Bangladesh will see them go through, as they lead the head-to-head against India in the tournament; any other result will see India qualify.

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