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Virat Kohli leads from front with ton, guides India to series win vs Windies

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 06-07-2017

© Getty India skipper Virat Kohli overcame tense start but grew in confidence, reaching his 28th career ODI century, as he guided India to a 3-1 series win in the fifth and final one-dayer here at the Sabina Park on Thursday. 

This was Kohli’s 18th hundred while chasing and he bettered Sachin Tendulkar’s mark of 17 second innings centuries. 

The Indian skipper Kohli came into bat after the early fall of Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket and put on 79 runs with Ajinkya Rahane for the second wicket in just under 18 overs to bring India back on track.

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Kohli had failed in the previous two games as the two-paced Antigua wicket, venue of third and fourth ODIs, offered uneven bounce and he couldn’t handle it, falling to deliveries that were pitched short.

Unlike in the previous game, where he fell while trying to pull WI skipper Jason Holder, Kohli began very carefully here, staying focused and leaving deliveries that looked short.

Soon he got the fruits of patience as a full-ish delivery came his way and he hit it past the bowler Alzarri Joseph. A pull came out of the quiver soon after and he swiveled to dispatch one to the midwicket fence. He then hammered Joseph once again, getting across and pulling the ball with severity past midwicket.

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Kohli kept the scoreboard ticking and took the pressure off Rahane who fell 11 short of a fifth consecutive half-century. Rahane had been lucky earlier as he was dropped on 5 at point.

Kohli reached his fifty with a four through cover off spinner Ashley Nurse. He took 67 balls to reach the mark. He soon dug into leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, hammering him for a six over midwicket.

The arrival of Dinesh Karthik had eased things a bit for the Indian captain as the newcomer kept the scoreboard ticking. With his tail up, Virat began playing cheeky shots, opening the face against Nurse to guide it for four towards third man. A waist high full-toss from Bishoo was dispatched to fence while another loose delivery from Kescrick Williams was dispatched to cover fence.

Kohli got to his hundred with a clip through the midwicket fence and let out a roar.

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