Kohli, Gill centuries power India to record 317-run win, series sweep

Kohli scored a brilliant 166 not out off just 110 balls (13x4, 8x6) to help India record the biggest victory (by runs) in ODI history and whitewash Sri Lanka 3-0.

Virat Kohli, celebrates after scoring his 46th ODI century, during the third One-Day International (ODI) between India and Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

Virat Kohli, celebrates after scoring his 46th ODI century, during the third One-Day International (ODI) between India and Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. | Photo Credit: K MURALI KUMAR

Kohli scored a brilliant 166 not out off just 110 balls (13x4, 8x6) to help India record the biggest victory (by runs) in ODI history and whitewash Sri Lanka 3-0.

When Shubman Gill pushed Nuwanidu Fernando gently for a single to mid-on to bring up his second ODI hundred, Virat Kohli was at the non-striker’s end. It was a magnificent century by the 23-year-old opener who looks to be the heir apparent of the great Indian batsmanship.

But, he would soon be overshadowed by the king himself. Kohli scored a brilliant 166 not out off just 110 balls (13x4, 8x6) to help India record the biggest victory (by runs) in ODI history and whitewash Sri Lanka 3-0.

Riding on the hundreds from Gill (116, 97b, 14x4, x6) and Kohli, as well as useful knocks from captain Rohit Sharma (42, 49b, 2x4, 3x6) and Shreyas Iyer (38, 32b, 2x4, 1x6), India posted a mammoth 390 for five, and then dismissed the visitor for just 73, in just 22 overs, at the Greenfield Stadium on Sunday. India’s margin of victory -- 317 runs – broke the men’s ODI record set in 2008 by New Zealand, which defeated Ireland by 290 runs at Aberdeen.

It really was a strange ODI match. If the first half often resembled a T20I, the second was more like a Test match, with Mohammed Siraj bowling to four slips and a gully.

Siraj moved the ball around beautifully to break the back of the Sri Lankan batting. Chasing a target close to 400 was always going to be extremely difficult, but he made it impossible.

Siraj had Avishka Fernando caught at slip in his first over and Kusal Mendis caught behind in the next. His new-ball partner Mohammed Shami also got into the act, removing Charith Asalanka.

The promising opener Nuwanidu played on to Siraj for 19, which would turn out to be the highest score in the innings. The Hyderabad seamer completed his first four-wicket haul in ODIs. He finished with four for 32 and was the only Indian bowler required to complete his quota.

Earlier, it was a masterclass in ODI batting by Kohli. It was not all that long ago when he went through a three-year drought of international hundreds, but he is now back at his very best. Frighteningly for bowlers around the world, he seems to be getting even better – the eight sixes he smashed in this innings are the highest by him in an ODI innings.

It was his third hundred in the last four ODIs and 46th overall. He is now just three short of Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI hundreds. While Tendulkar’s hundreds came in 452 innings, this was Kohli’s 259th innings.

The way he paced his innings was wonderful, as he ensured Sri Lanka would be left with too huge a mountain to climb. He added 131 for the second with Gill, who yet again looked elegant, and 108 with Shreyas.

India had got off to a great start with Rohit and Gill putting on 95. The finish would be provided by Siraj.

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