Blistering Virat keeps India afloat

Virat Kohli acknowledges the heaven as he celebrates his match-winning century against Sri Lanka at Hobart, Australia on Tuesday.

Hobart: Virat Kohli blasted an unbeaten 133 as India snatched an incredible victory against Sri Lanka by chasing down a mammoth 321 in only 36.4 overs to rekindle their hopes of making it to the final of the cricket tri-series, here on Tuesday.

Needing to win the crucial game in 40 overs in order to get a bonus point and stay afloat, the beleaguered Indians pulled off a sensational victory when it mattered the most riding on Kohli’s breathtaking assault and useful contributions from all the other top-order batsmen. Put into bat, Sri Lanka posted a mammoth 320 built around Tillekaratne Dilshan’s career-best 160 not out and Kumar Sangakkara’s 105 but Indians left the islanders stunned by achieving the target with 80 balls to spare amd more importanly inside the required 40 overs. They maintained an unbelievable run-rate of 8.75 runs per over throughout the chase.

Kohli smashed 16 boundaries and two sixes during his whirlwind 86-ball knock. He completed his ninth ODI ton and his second against Sri Lanka in 76 balls.

India will now have to await the result of the last league match between Australia and Sri Lanka to know their fate. They will qualify to the finals only if Australia beat Sri Lanka in the last league game.

Australia, who are already through to the finals are leading the table with 19 points while Sri Lanka and India are tied on 15 points with the latter haviung completed their league engagements.

Much as Kohli deserves to be applauded, no less critical roles were played by openers Sehwag (30, 16 balls, 5×4, 1×6) and Sachin (39, 30 balls, 5×4) as well as the two subsequent batsmen, Gambhir (63, 64 balls, 4×4) and Raina (40, 24 balls, 3×4, 1×6). (PTI)