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Top 5 Virat Kohli centuries in chases

India v Pakistan - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup : News Photo
Kohli scored another massive hundred in the chase against New Zealand

A few days back, Virat Kohli gave live testimony of the age-old cricketing adage, ‘catches win matches’. In this case, a dropped catch by Ross Taylor when Kohli was on 6, cost New Zealand the match. The Delhi batsman scored an unbeaten 154, having added 151 for the third wicket with his skipper MS Dhoni and another 97 with Manish Pandey, who scored just 28* of those runs.

Kohli has played 174 ODI games, which although a big number, is not colossal compared to other cricketing greats. However, he is already in that league, already an ODI great. He has an unbelievable 7460 runs from 166 innings, at a whopping 52.90 with an astonishing strike-rate of 90.49. As if that average and strike-rate combo is not staggering enough, he has 26 centuries. That is one century every 6 ODI innings.

Even the great Sachin Tendulkar didn’t manage that, having scored 49 centuries from 452 innings.

But, it is not just this number that makes Virat Kohli the super-run-getting-machine we hold in awe. It is his second innings stats. Much has been written on it already and almost every Indian knows, Virat Kohli is India’s greatest finisher, arguably, with only MS Dhoni offering some competition for that spot. Kohli scored his 4656 second-innings runs at 63.78 with 16 centuries.

Here, we take a look at his top 5 centuries in chases. Some of them are sublimely staggering!


#1 183 (148) v Pakistan, Dhaka, 2012

Indian batsman Virat Kholi reacts after : News Photo
Kohli scored at an incredible pace against arch-rivals Pakistan

The mother of all chases! It came away from India, under pressure, against arch-rivals Pakistan, in the prestigious Asia Cup. India were set a target of 330, thanks to a 224-run opening stand between the Pakistan openers. The Indian chase didn’t start on the most auspicious note as Gautam Gambhir fell the second ball of the innings.

Sachin’s brisk 48-ball 53 helped as he added 133 with Kohli for the second wicket. Kohli then continued the good work adding 172 for the third wicket with Rohit Sharma, who scored only 68 of those runs and that too at a strike-rate of just 82.

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(Video Courtesy: Vishal Punia YouTube)

Despite that, India managed to chase down the target in 47.5 overs, thanks to Kohli, whose 22 fours and 1 six gave him a strike-rate of 123.64. Kohli ensured India were never under pressure, despite needing 169 off the last 25 overs, 143 off the last 20 and 83 off the last 10.

#2 154*(134) v New Zealand, Mohali, 2016

VIrat Kohli
Kohli came in when India were in trouble (Image Courtesy: BCCI)

Dropped on 6, Kohli ensured he made New Zealand pay. India were in a spot of trouble at 41 for 2 when both the openers departed cheaply. Dhoni promoted himself to No.4 and added 151 with Kohli. But even after his dismissal, Kohli kept the foot on the pedal.

The most amazing thing about his 154* was the control and self-assurance with which he won the match. There was never any pressure, any panic.

New Zealand had a chance with the RPO at 6 per over until the last 7 overs. But Kohli finished the match well before time, hammering New Zealand’s best bowler, Trent Boult, to all corners of the ground in the 48th over.

Not many false shots, no needless bravado, no unnecessary risks, the Delhi batsman ran hard, played some delightful flicks and drove the ball superbly. It was his second 150 in ODI chases and even the New Zealand team couldn’t help but admire the masterclass.

#3 139* (126) v Sri Lanka, Ranchi, 2014

Pakistan v India - ICC World Twenty20 2012: Super Eights Group 2 : News Photo
Kohli again bailed the team out when they were in a precarious situation

Chasing against Sri Lanka is always a tricky affair, especially the way they squeeze the opponents by applying pressure. India were under the pump chasing 289 in a bilateral series which they had already won.

They were reduced to 14 for 2 before Kohli added 136 with Ambati Rayudu, who scored a brisk 69-ball 59. But a mini-collapse led India to a precarious situation at 231 for 7, requiring a further 56 off 40 deliveries and later 54 from 36.

Kohli made sure India lost no further wickets with Axar Patel taking 14 balls to score 17. India reached the target with 8 balls to spare and Kohli finished unbeaten yet again. 3 sixes and 12 fours ensured his strike-rate was above 100 despite all the pressure that he soaked in.

He even ended the game typical Dhoni style with two sixes off Mendis, the bowler who picked 4 wickets and gave India a lot of pain in the match. That win ensured India white-washed Sri Lanka to take the series 5-0.

#4 133* (86) v Sri Lanka, Hobart, 2012

Indian batsman Virat Kohli (L) pulls a b : News Photo
Kohli has a wonderful record against Sri Lanka

In a do-or-die match for India to stay alive in the CB Series, Sri Lanka posted a score of 320, and it was all but over for India, who needed to get a bonus point by scoring the massive target in under 40 overs.

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(Video Courtesy: Ahsan-Productions HD YouTube)

India had an electric start with Sachin and Sehwag adding 54 in just 6.2 overs. When Sachin fell, India were 86 for 2 in the 10th over. Kohli and Gambhir kept the chase alive adding 115 in 18.1 overs (109 deliveries). But, Kohli went berserk after Gambhir’s dismissal, taking apart Lasith Malinga, then the world’s best death bowler. His match figures were 1-96 in just 7.4 overs. That was courtesy Kohli, who in Malinga’s 7th over smashed four fours and a six in five consecutive deliveries for a 24 run over.

Eventually, Kohli finished the match with two fours off Malinga as India chased down 320 in just the 37th over.

#5 107 (114) v Sri Lanka, Kolkata, 2009

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli (L) is watc : News Photo
Kohli, with Gambhir, helped India defeat Sri Lanka

Chasing under the Eden Gardens lights is not easy. Kohli was still in his very early days, still fighting for a spot in the team, just ahead of the likes of Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma in the pecking order.

This probably was the turnaround match that showed glimpses of his class. It was also significant, given India weren’t a team that was capable of massive chases that it turned into a few years later.

Set a target of 316 by Sri Lanka, they started off poorly and lost both openers – Sachin and Sehwag, with the scores 23 for 2. Kohli and Gambhir, who remained unbeaten on 150* added 224 for the third wicket in just 35.4 overs.

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(Video Courtesy: Ahsan-Productions HD YouTube)

Gambhir finished it off in style, adding another 70 after Kohli’s departure, of which, Karthik scored just 19. However, to a lot of Kohli fans, this innings was special because it was Kohli’s first-century chasing.

Yes, a legend was born that day!

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Edited by Staff Editor
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