Indian batsman Virat Kohli walked in to repair a crisis situation once again, slamming his 30th ODI fifty in the fifth ODI against New Zealand at Wellington on Friday. A valiant effort from India's No. 3 --- 82 off 78 balls --- kept India alive in the game, but only just. In yet another batting debacle, India lost the fifth ODI by 87 runs as New Zealand sealed a well-deserved 4-0 series win.
Chasing 304 for a win, the Indian batting saw a familiar sorry tale as they lost a couple of early wickets. Kohli started on a cautious note but with a steep total to chase, he quickly settled in. After Ajinkya Rahane's departure, Kohli found an able ally in Ambati Rayudu as the duo began to rebuild the innings. (Scorecard | Highlights | Match report)
Kohli seemed determined not to throw his wicket away and took his time to settle down, picking up a lot of ones and twos to keep the scorecard ticking. Kohli packed a lot of confidence in the shots he executed, especially against the barrage of short deliveries. There were pull shots through mid-wicket coupled with a gorgeous on-drive that added to his tally of seven fours and three sixes. (Also read: Dhoni joins 8000-run club)
Rayudu fell but Kohli carried on and brought up a gritty half-century off 60 balls -- his 30th in ODIs. At this point, Kohli decided to seamlessly shift gears and began to score boundaries a lot more frequently. Kohli was joined by MS Dhoni, who became the fourth fastest to join the 8000-run club, as the duo added 67 in 73 balls for the fifth wicket. Kohli looked set to score another ODI ton in a run chase but lost his wicket while trying to up the ante as he was caught by substitute fielder Peter Younghusband at long on off Nathan McCullum in the 37th over. (Match in pics)