Thiruvananthapuram: Virat Kohli strolled his way to his third hundred in four innings after Shubman Gill’s sublime century as India amassed 390 for five against Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI here on Sunday.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (42 off 49) and Gill (116 off 97) laid the platform for a massive total with a 95-run opening partnership before Kohli (166 not out off 110) did the needful with his 74th international hundred and 46th in the 50-over format.
Kohli, who had ended a nearly three-year wait for an international hundred in the Asia Cup last year, is back to his best and has been scoring hundreds at will in a World Cup year. The 34-year-old is now only three short of equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries. What is remarkable is his conversion ratio as he got to his 46th ton in 259 innings while Tendulkar had taken 452 innings to get to 49 centuries. Before Kohli took over, Gill had played some high-quality strokes en route to his second ODI hundred.
The 23-run over from Lahiru Kumara in the initial stage of the innings got India going. After Rohit flicked him for a six over deep mid-wicket, Gill collected four straight boundaries off Kumara, three on the off-side and one was a leg-side flick off a full toss.
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Rohit too was looking good at the other end but got out against the run of play while trying one of his signature shots, the front foot pull. Gill and Kohli then shared a 131-run stand in which they were hardly troubled by the Sri Lankan bowlers.
Kohli began the innings with a flurry of boundaries before accumulating runs with his exemplary running between the wickets. His first of his eight sixes came in the 80s and it was a mishit over long-on, leaving him in a chuckle.
He got to 99 with a boundary which came following a collision with Ashen Bandara and Jeffrey Vandersay, who both were running towards the ball from deep square leg and deep midwicket.
Bandara was eventually stretchered off the field.
The last five overs saw India accumulating 58 runs with Kohli going ballistic after his century.
Brief scores: India: 390/5 in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 116, Virat Kohli 166 not out; Kasun Rajitha 2/81).