x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Inspired Virat Kohli hits 183 to shock Pakistan in Asia Cup

The batsman's knock helps chase down Pakistan's imposing score of 329 for six as India win on 330 for four.

Virat Kohli scored 183 of India's 330 against Pakistan.
Virat Kohli scored 183 of India's 330 against Pakistan.

Virat Kohli shocked himself and Pakistan as he smashed a career-best 183 to power India to a crucial six-wicket victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup one-day tournament in Dhaka yesterday.

The in-form batsman hit one six and 22 fours in his explosive 148-ball knock. It was his third century in four matches and helped India achieve the tough 330-run target with 13 balls to spare.

"I still can't believe what happened out there, honestly," said Kohli, who was named man of the match. "I'm really satisfied. To be able to chase 330 against this bowling is satisfying."

The Indian innings marked their highest successful chase in one-day internationals, surpassing their score of 326 against England at Lord's in 2002.

Pakistan's Nasir Jamshed hit a 104-ball 112 for his maiden one-day century and Mohammad Hafeez made a 113-ball 105 to help post a challenging total, but that was before Kohli came to the wicket

Pakistan made it to the final despite the defeat, finishing their league engagements with nine points from three games, while India (eight points from three games) and Bangladesh (four from two) are still in contention.

Bangladesh need to win their final league match against Sri Lanka tomorrow with either a bonus point of a greatly improved run rate to knock India out.

The day-night match was the first between India and Pakistan since the high-profile World Cup semi-final at Mohali last March, which India won on their way to clinching the showpiece title.

Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar put India on course for the remarkable victory with a 133-run stand for the second wicket after the second-ball dismissal of Gautam Gambhir.

Tendulkar, who became the first player to score 100 international centuries on Friday, looked in good form. He hit a brisk 48-ball 52 with the help of one six and five fours before being caught by Younis Khan in the slips off spinner Saeed Ajmal.

Kohli, whose previous best was an unbeaten 133, received valuable support from Rohit Sharma who made an impressive 68 in a 172-run stand for the third wicket to set up the successful run chase.

MS Dhoni, the India captain, said: "Sachin and Virat batted brilliantly while Rohit can be a good finisher. It's about how you handle pressure, they will learn from games like these."

Earlier, Jamshed and Hafeez had dominated the Indian bowling as they added 224 runs, Pakistan's best for the opening wicket against India in one-day internationals.

Pakistan scored 73 in the last 10 overs of their innings, with Younis hitting a 34-ball 52 with six fours before falling to a superb one-handed catch by Suresh Raina in the covers off Praveen Kumar.

Shahid Afridi (nine) completed 7,000 one-day runs before being caught by Kohli off Irfan Pathan.

Misvah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, said he thought his side had done enough to win and paid tribute to Kohli.

"It was an excellent innings by Kohli, the best I have ever seen," he said. "Credit goes to their batsmen. It's easy out there under lights but 329 is still a good score."

* Agency

Cricket comment, s12-13