Kohli fires India to vital win with 183

Monday, 19 March 2012 00:13 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

DHAKA, (AFP): Virat Kohli smashed a career-best 183 to power India to a crucial six-wicket victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup one-day tournament in Dhaka on Sunday.

The in-form batsman hit one six and 22 fours in his explosive 148-ball knock. It was his third century in four matches and helped India achieve the stiff 330-run target with 13 balls to spare.

Nasir Jamshed earlier hit a 104-ball 112 for his maiden one-day century and Mohammad Hafeez made a 113-ball 105 to help Pakistan post a challenging total.

Pakistan made it to the final despite the defeat, finishing their league engagements with nine points from three games, while India (eight points from three games) and Bangladesh (four from two) are still in contention.

Bangladesh need to win their final league match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday to knock India out.

The day-night match was the first between the two teams since the high-profile World Cup semi-final at Mohali last March, which India won on their way to clinching the showpiece title.

Kohli and opener Sachin Tendulkar put India on course for the remarkable victory with a 133-run stand for the second wicket after the second-ball dismissal of Gautam Gambhir.

Tendulkar, who became the first plaer to score 100 international centuries on Friday, looked in good form.

He hit a brisk 48-ball 52 with the help of one six and five fours before being caught by Younis Khan in the slips off spinner Saeed Ajmal.

Kohli, whose previous best was an unbeaten 133, received valuable support from Rohit Sharma who made an impressive 68 in a 172-run stand for the third wicket.

Left-handed Jamshed and Hafeez earlier dominated the Indian batting attack as they added 224 runs, Pakistan's best for the opening wicket against India in one-day internationals.

Pakistan scored 73 in the last 10 overs, with Younis hitting a 34-ball 52 with the help of six fours before falling to a superb one-handed catch by Suresh Raina in the covers off paceman Praveen Kumar.

Shahid Afridi (nine) completed 7,000 one-day runs before being caught by Kohli off Irfan Pathan.

Hafeez was the first to complete his century, pushing Kumar to mid-off for a single. He struck one six and nine fours before being trapped leg-before by seamer Ashok Dinda.

Jamshed reached the century in Kumar's next over with a single and then hit the bowler for a six. He also cracked 10 fours.

India, who failed to defend 289 in their last match against Bangladesh on Friday, again put in a below-par performance with none of their bowlers able to keep pressure on the Pakistani openers.