Another Virat Kohli century in chase helps India crush Bangladesh in Cricket World Cup

Hosts seal seven-wicket win in Pune to extend unbeaten run

Virat Kohli celebrates reaching his century and winning the match against Bangladesh at the MCA Stadium in Pune. Reuters
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India completed their fourth straight victory of the 2023 World Cup with a comfortable seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in Pune on Thursday, with Virat Kohli hitting an unbeaten century .

The Tigers batted with purpose but fell short of the mark as they could only manage 256-8 batting first.

That total was never going to trouble India’s batsmen on a flat MCA Stadium surface.

Opening batsman Shubman Gill made a pleasant 53 while captain Rohit Sharma missed his by two. Virat Kohli then orchestrated the run chase with a flawless 103 from 97 balls as the Indians reached the target in 41.3 overs.

Kohli had a dream start to his innings, with Hasan Mahmud bowling two no-balls to him first up. Kohli smashed a four and a six off of them to kickstart his knock.

He hit six fours and four sixes for his 48th ODI century which pushed India to joint-top of the table with eight points.

However, Kohli's ton came in extraordinary circumstances. The team needed 19 runs for victory and Kohli required as many for his ton. From that point, Kohli hit boundaries and took a single off the last ball of the over to retain strike.

He did that for three overs, as KL Rahul remained not out on 34 at the other end. Kohli reached his century with a six over mid wicket off Nasum Ahmed.

Earlier, Bangladesh showed great intent at the start of the innings before losing momentum in the middle overs.

Opener Tanzid Hasan struck his maiden one-day international fifty as he took on India’s new-ball attack.

The left-hander, 22, made an impressive 51 off 43 balls including five fours and three sixes.

He added 93 for the opening wicket with Liton Das after seeing off Jasprit Bumrah’s opening burst.

Tanzid struck Shardul Thakur for 16 runs in three balls, two sixes - one over square leg and the other lofted over extra-cover - separated by a four driven through mid-on.

But left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav provided India the breakthrough by having Tanzid lbw.

Thereafter, Bangladesh suffered a mini collapse, sliding to 137-4 with Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammad Siraj among the wickets.

But the Tigers had depth in their batting. Veteran batsmen Mahmudullah (46) and Mushfiqur Rahim (38) ensured they crossed the 250-run mark.

Fast bowler Bumrah was once again the stand-out bowler for India, giving away 41 runs in his 10 overs for two wickets, including that of Mahmudullah with a trademark yorker.

Jadeja was equally effective, taking 2-38. It was still a tense day on the field for India as they saw their star all-rounder Hardik Pandya hobble off the field after twisting his ankle while trying to stop the ball off his own bowling.

If Pandya is sidelined, it will impact the balance of the team greatly as he is a frontline batsman and bowler who allows captain Sharma to pick another specialist player.

Updated: October 19, 2023, 4:51 PM