Run machine Virat Kohli carved out his 34th ODI hundred and second of the series to push India to 303 for six in the third match against South Africa on Wednesday. Kohli scored an unbeaten 160 off 159 balls for the highest individual score by an Indian batsman against South Africa in South Africa, going past Sourav Ganguly s 127 at Johannesburg in 2001. It was also Kohli s second-highest ODI score after 183 against Pakistan in 2012.
It was not an easy wicket to bat on but Kohli made run- scoring look easy as some of the other batsmen struggled to get going.
Such was the nature of his innings that he scored only 60 runs through boundaries while he had to run hard for the remaining 100. In total, he collected 12 fours and two sixes.
He also became the first Indian batsman to score a hundred against South Africa at Newlands. Only Ganguly previously had an ODI century at this ground, but that came against Kenya in March 2003.
Records kept tumbling as his innings progressed. He also became the Indian ODI captain with most hundreds to his name.
He went past Ganguly again, who has 11 centuries in 142 innings. Kohli now boasts of 12 hundreds as skipper but in only 43 innings.
Kohli, with 318 runs in this series so far, now also has the most runs for a visiting batsman in a bilateral ODI series against South Africa in South Africa. Ricky Ponting, with 283 runs in 2001-02, was the previous best.
In terms of balls faced, it was the joint-slowest hundred for Kohli, after he faced 119 balls against Pakistan at Adelaide in 2015. But in doing so, Kohli put on 140 runs with Shikar Dhawan for the second wicket.
The Delhi-batsman scored boundaries with ease and put a price tag on his wicket despite losing Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Hardik Pandya in quick succession. He brought up his fourth century in the last six innings in just 119 balls. Kohli kept losing partners at the other end but he played till the end to power India to 303/6 in 50 overs. He remained unbeaten on 160.
Earlier, Kohli and Dhawan stitched together 140 runs for the second wicket, which was also the third highest second wicket stand for India after being 0/1. Dhawan was also on course for his 13th ODI hundred but was caught at the mid-wicket for 76.
Kohli further enhanced his reputation as a 'chase master' as he smashed his 33rd hundred to lead India to a six-wicket victory over South Africa in the first cricket one-dayer as India chased down the target of 270 with 4.3 overs to spare. Kohli struck 112 off 119 balls with the help of 10 boundaries and put on 189 runs for the third wicket with Ajinkya Rahane (79 runs of 86 balls), the highest stand for India in South Africa. Kohli notched up his 20th hundred in a run-chase, out of which 18 have been successfully converted to victories. Kohli celebrated his maiden hundred on South African soil in style, reaching there off 105 balls. In doing so, he equalled Sourav Ganguly's record of most ODI hundreds as Indian captain.
(With PTI inputs)