Asia Cup: Kohli ton seals opener against Bangladesh
Another chase, another cracking century by Virat Kohli. Team India's stand-in skipper recorded his 19th ODI hundred as the Men In Blue trounced Bangladesh by 6 wickets at Fatullah on Wednesday.
India won the toss and elected to bowl first, sticking to their strength of chasing. The bowling was spearheaded by Mohammad Shami, who picked up 4 wickets, cramping the Bangladeshi batsmen for room. His tight spell gave India an early breakthrough as Shamshur Rahman departed in the 6th over. R Ashwin then struck to remove Mominul Haque and the scoreboard read 49/2.
Anamul Haque then shifted gears, looting 34 off 19 balls from Varun Aaron. Captain Mushifqur Rahim began cautiously, but then joined the bandwagon and added a record partnership of 133 runs with Anamul for the 2nd wicket, the highest by a Bangladeshi pair against India. Opener Anamul (77) eventually fell to Aaron, but only after setting up the base for a respectable total for Bangladesh. The skipper continued his form, reaching only his 2nd ODI century in just 104 balls alongside Naeem Islam and the rest of the batting order. Bangladesh finished with a strong total of 279/7 in 50 overs.
India's response was typical. The openers were back in the hut at 54/2 in the 13th over, which made way for a Kohli special. The Delhi lad reached his half-century in 48 deliveries, charging against the bowlers time and again. Giving him able support at the other end was young Ajinkya Rahane, who also completed his 4th ODI fifty in the meanwhile.
It wasn't all that difficult for Virat, who got to his hundred in just 95 balls, simultaneously stitching a massive 213-run stand for the 3rd wicket. The bowling looked anything but threatening, and it hardly troubled the Indian batsmen who cruised their way to an easy finish. Virat's knock of 136 came to an end in 122 balls, which included 16 fours and 2 sixes.
This was only the 2nd time in ODI history that both captains scored a century in the same game. Virat, who equaled Brian Lara's record of all-time hundreds in ODIs also became the fastest batsman to reach 19 ODI tons.
As India advance to face stronger opponents like Sri Lanka in their upcoming encounter on Friday, they will be banking on their young batting line-up and a pace attack led well by Shami.
India 280 for 4 (Kohli 136, Rahane 73) beat Bangladesh 279 for 7 (Rahim 117, Anamul 77, Shami 4-50) by six wickets.