MUMBAI: India’s Virat Kohli scored a record 50th one-day international hundred when he reached three figures in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday, hailing the landmark as being “like a dream”.
Kohli, 35, reached his century – his third of the tournament – with a two off fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, having faced 106 balls, hitting eight fours and a six, to break the record of 49 ODI hundreds he had shared with Sachin Tendulkar.
He did so on his former India team-mate’s home ground, with Tendulkar among those applauding at the Wankhede Stadium as Kohli bowed towards his childhood hero and fellow 2011 World Cup-winner.
“It feels like a dream. Too good to be true,” said Kohli at the innings break after India piled up 397-4.
This was Kohli’s 279th ODI innings, with the former India captain having also scored a further 71 fifties in addition to his 50 hundreds.
Dropped on 107, Kohli was eventually out for 117 when he pulled Tim Southee low to Devon Conway at deep square leg.
“For me the most important thing is to make my team win. I’ve been given a role this tournament and I’m trying to dig deep,” added Kohli.
“That’s the key to consistency – play according to the situation and play for the team.”
Tendulkar, whose previous record of 49 had been equalled by Kohli 10 days ago in the group stage win over South Africa, hailed his compatriot’s “passion and skill”.
“The first time I met you in the Indian dressing room, you were pranked by other teammates into touching my feet. I couldn’t stop laughing that day,” Tendulkar wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
“But soon, you touched my heart with your passion and skill. I couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record.
“And to do it on the biggest stage – in the World Cup semi-final – and at my home ground is the icing on the cake.”
Kohli said he was over-joyed to achieve the record in front of his wife, Anushka Sharma, and Tendulkar
“Sachin was there in the stands, my hero. My life partner and all these fans at the Wankhede,” said Kohli.
India, bidding to win a third World Cup title and second on home soil, were also boosted by Shreyas Iyer’s 105 and 80 from Shubman Gill.