Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill missed out on centuries in the 2023 ODI World Cup match against Sri Lanka on Thursday, November 1. Both the right-handers looked set to reach the milestone but Lankan pacer Dilshan Madushanka wreaked havoc in quick succession. However, their 188-run partnership for the second wicket put India in the driver's seat.
As India took on Sri Lanka at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, memories of the 2011 World Cup final flashed back. India scripted history with a six-wicket win, but the two teams were evenly powerful back then. Things have changed after years and now Team India is way ahead of their Asian counterpart and their dominance was seen yet again on Thursday when the Indian top order took control.
After putting India to bat first, Sri Lanka started off brilliantly as Madushanka drew first blood by removing dangerous Rohit Sharma. Indian captain opened the innings with a boundary but on the very next ball, his off stump went for a walk. Gill had a cautious start to the innings, while Kohli at the other end kept ticking the scoreboard with singles and boundaries.
Madushanka leaves Wankhede in silence with back-to-back strikes
The former India captain was never in trouble as he smashed his 70th ODI half-century at a strike rate of 100. It was his fifth fifty-plus score in seven innings in this World Cup. Kohli also surpassed Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara (12) to become the non-opener with the most fifty-plus scores in World Cup history.
A few overs later, Gill also brought up his half-century - his second of the tournament. The two put up a show at Wankhede as Lankan bowlers had no clue how to get rid of them. Gill overtook Kohli in the century race with a couple of boundaries in the 29th over, but the very next over Madushanka broke the dangerous partnership with the former's wicket. A short slower delivery, Gill (92 off 92) tried to hit it past the keeper. But the ball bounced and took the edge for an easy catch to Kusal Mendis.
In his very next over, the right-arm seamer got another big fish, Kohli (88 off 94), leaving the entire crowd in silence. A slower ball into the wicket, Kohli missed the timing and popped the ball towards short cover, where the fielder ran in and took an easy diving catch. Both set batters missed their hundreds and the Wankhede was stunned.
Here's how fans reacted:
What a remarkable innings, Shubman Gill showed immense talent on the field!— Stewie (@StewzieGriffin) November 2, 2023
Sara india ka Dil toot Gaya.....Gill misses well deserve century— Hriday Singh (@hridaysingh16) November 2, 2023
A tremendous 90s from Gill. But very disappointed dismissal. Unfortunately missed his hundred.— Satya Prakash (@Satya_Prakash08) November 2, 2023
Kohli what have you done. Heartbreak for Indians 😔😔— Indian Stats & Index (@statsfeed_india) November 2, 2023
Shit yaaar😌— Bolo Yaarrrr (@ShaRo45264) November 2, 2023
Yahi hota hai. Because it seems he was so nervous to score his Century— Renu K 🌺 (@Talk2Rinki) November 2, 2023
KING 👑 followed the prince 🤴 this time 😢— Cricket Polls (@CricPollsdaily) November 2, 2023
Easy century missed Kohli sahab😭— Abhishek (@be_mewadi) November 2, 2023
After Shubman, Virat kohli got out before century. Unbelievable. Very sad.— Satya Prakash (@Satya_Prakash08) November 2, 2023