KL Rahul matches Dhoni in an unique feat with century against New Zealand

KL Rahul, who came in to bat three down, slammed a 113-ball 112 during the third ODI at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui to help India post 296 /7 in 50 overs.

K.L. Rahul brought up his fourth ODI hundred against New Zealand at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Tuesday.   -  TWITTER(@BCCI)

Wicket-keeper batsman K.L. Rahul (112, 113b, 9*4, 2*6) on Tuesday became the first Indian player to score an ODI century batting at No. 5 or lower since M.S. Dhoni's century in Cuttack against England in 2017.

Rahul, who came in to bat three down, slammed a 113-ball 112 against New Zealand during the third and final ODI at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui. His century helped India post a competitive total of 296 /7 in 50 overs.

Dhoni, batting in the same position three years back, had scored 134 against England on January 19 to guide India to a first innings total 381/6. The home team eventually bagged the contest by 15 runs.

Rahul has been in sublime form on the current tour, scoring three half-centuries before notching up his maiden century in New Zealand.

The Karnataka batsman surpassed Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir to become the second-fastest batsman to bring up four hundreds in the 50-over format. With 31 innings, he is second to Shikhar Dhawan's 24.

The 27-year-old Rahul joined the elite company of former India skipper Rahul Dravid by becoming only the second wicket-keeper from India to score an ODI century outside Asia.

Asked to bat first, India was reduced to 62/3 when Rahul and Shreyas Iyer joined hands to rescue India from a precarious position. The duo forged an important 100-run stand and resurrected India's innings.

Rahul acted like a fulcrum as after the departure of Iyer, Manish Pandey played a perfect foil as the wicket-keeper batsman completed his century. 

Rahul eventually got out in the 47th over while trying to up the ante and was caught at long-off.

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