Kohli 166*, Gill 116 as dominant India put up 390/5 vs Sri Lanka in 3rd ODI 

Team India batter Virat Kohli smashed a superb 166* off 110 balls as the hosts scored 390/5 against Sri Lanka after winning the toss and batting first in the third ODI in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, January 15.

Kohli struck 13 fours and eight sixes in an amazing display of big-hitting, putting the Sri Lankan attack to the sword. The 34-year-old, who brought up his second ton of the series and third in his last four ODI innings, added 131 for the second wicket with fellow centurion Shubman Gill (116 off 97).

After looking in supreme form, Kohli enjoyed some luck on 82 as he went down the ground against Lahiru Kumara and almost gave a catch on the boundary. However, the fielder at long-on misjudged the ball and ended up conceding six runs.

There was a worrying incident just before Kohli brought up his hundred. Batting on 95, he pulled a short ball from Chamika Karunaratne on the onside. Ashen Bandara and Jeffrey Vandersay were, however, involved in a massive collision at the square leg boundary as they tried to stop the ball. The four took Kohli to 99. He brought up his 46th ODI ton off the next ball, working Karunaratne to long-on for a single.

The former India captain then brought out a helicopter stroke against Kasun Rajitha and fetched himself a maximum over long-on. Two sixes and a four followed off his willow in the 45th over bowled by Karunaratne.

After Shreyas Iyer fell for a 32-ball 38, India lost KL Rahul (seven) and Suryakumar Yadav (four) in quick succession. However, Kohli kept going from the other end. He ended the innings in terrific fashion, clobbering Kumara for two sixes and a four to lift India to a mammoth total of 390.

Gill, Kohli build on solid foundation

Batting first after winning the toss, Team India openers Rohit Sharma and Gill added 95 in 15.2 overs. After a sedate start, the openers took off, looting 23 runs off the sixth over bowled by Kumar. Rohit began with a six over midwicket, while Gill slammed four consecutive boundaries. The Indian captain then took on Rajitha and slapped him for 6, 6, and 4 as the hosts reached 75/0 after 10 overs.

Rohit was looking good for a big score, but perished for 42 off 49, pulling a short-of-a-length delivery from Karunaratne to deep backward square leg. Kohli looked in exquisite form from the start, hitting three fours in the space of two overs. Gill and Kohli featured in a century stand for the second wicket to put Team India firmly in command.

Gill got into the 90s in style, hitting a four off Nuwanidu Fernando before smashing a maximum over wide long-off. After Kohli reached his half-century with a single off Nuwanidu in the 31st over, Gill scored his second ODI hundred off the next ball, driving a fullish delivery to long-on for a single.

Both batters opened up after reaching their respective landmarks as 18 runs came off the next over bowled by Vandersay. Gill’s fantastic innings ended when he was bowled by Rajitha looking to up the ante even further. He was done with a slower ball, which also kept low.

Following Gill’s dismissal, Kohli kept going strong and lifted the hosts to an excellent total.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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