With a century against New Zealand in the first semi-final of the 2023 ICC World Cup, Indian batter Virat Kohli became the first player in the history of cricket to score 50 ODI centuries. With this achievement, he has transcended Sachin Tendulkar’s figure of 49 ODI centuries, and that too, at the Master Blaster’s home ground – Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium – with the legend being in attendance.
In today’s (15 November) match against the Blackcaps, Kohli came out to bat after the Indian skipper, Rohit Sharma had given the team a brilliant start with his fiery 29-ball 47. Judging the need of the hour, Kohli prioritised the preservation of his wicket, whilst also ensuring the scoring rate does not take a nosedive.
The former skipper took 30 deliveries to score his first 25 runs, and another 29 to score the next 25 – subsequently his first-ever half-century in the knockouts of the ODI World Cup.
As he often does, there was a switch of gears following the completion of his half-century, with his next 25 runs needing only 21 deliveries.
The record 50th ODI century was brought up in the 42nd over, with Kohli having faced 106 deliveries to complete the achievement. Following its completion, he was seen bowing down to Tendulkar, whom he admittedly considers his idol.
Kohli went on to add 17 more runs to his, and more importantly, his team's tally, before losing his wicket to Tim Southee in the last delivery of the 44th over.
Not the Only Record That Kohli Broke
Beyond the record-breaking century, he made another record in this fixture. The former Indian skipper now has 709 runs to his name, becoming the first player to score north of 700 runs in a single edition of the ODI World Cup.
Here as well, he surpassed his idol Tendulkar's record, who previously held the bragging rights in this particular aspect, with 673 runs during the 2003 World Cup.