Asia Cup: Virat Kohli’s tour de force against Pakistan and other top batting performances

Since 1984, when the first edition of the tournament was held, a total of 107 matches have been played in 12 editions. Some of those matches have given us memories that will linger long in the memory of a cricket fan.

cricket Updated: Sep 15, 2018 09:22 IST
Himanshu Dhingra
Himanshu Dhingra
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virat Kohli,Asia Cup,Asia Cup 2018
Indian batsman Virat Kholi reacts after scoring a century (100 runs) during the one day international (ODI) Asia Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on March 18, 2012.(AFP/Getty Images)

It’s the second oldest One Day international tournament in the world and features sides that have four World Cups between them on top of four World Cup final appearances. Fair to say that the talent on display over the years has been pretty special and includes who’s who of world cricket.

Since 1984, when the first edition of the tournament was held, a total of 107 matches have been played in 12 editions. Some of those matches have given us memories that will linger long in the memory of a cricket fan.

Here, Hindustan Times looks at five batting performances at the Asia Cup that left fans with their jaws nearly touching the floor.

5. Sachin Tendulkar - 112* (107) vs Sri Lanka in 1995 – Sachin Tendulkar gave another glimpse of his precocious talent in a round robin match against Sri Lanka in Sharjah. Chasing a rather paltry total of 203 against Sri Lanka, Tendulkar peeled of a sublime century with ease. On a pitch where Lanka crawled to 202, Sachin hit 15 boundaries and a six to take India past the line with more than 100 balls to spare. He put on 161 runs with Manoj Prabhakar and never gave any semblance of a chance to the opponents.

4. Shoaib Malik – 143 (127) vs India in 2004 - Ever since making his ODI debut against West Indies there have always been question marks about Malik’s technique. Those questions resurfaced when before the start of the 2004 edition Pakistan announced that Malik will be batting at pivotal number three spot. Those questions were emphatically answered by the all-rounder when he struck a brilliant 143 against India in a round robin match. Coming into bat in the very first over the then 22-year-old played Indian seamers Irfan Pathan, Lakshmipathy Balaji and Ashish Nehra flawlessly. He was involved in partnerships throughout the 50 overs and guided his team to a score of 300 which proved insurmountable for India.

3. Fawad Alam – 114* (134) vs Sri Lanka in 2014 – Every now and then we see players who have techniques of their own. Fawad Alam is one such cricketer with whom the orthodox is out of the window. That though didn’t stop him from hitting a fabulous century against Sri Lanka in 2014. Walking in at a precarious 18/3 in a final no less, Alam was involved in two hundred-run partnerships with Misbah-ul-Haq and then Kamran Akmal to help Pakistan to a respectable 260. No mean feat against the likes of Lasith Malinga and co. Unfortunately for Alam and Pakistan the innings went in vain as Sri Lanka chased down the target with more than three overs to spare.

2. Sanath Jayasuriya – 125 (114) vs India in 2008 – If Sanath Jayasuriya had a favourite team then surely it was India. Time and again he brought out his best to put India to the sword. In the 2008 final he struck a century that almost single-handedly beat India. As wickets continued to tumble around him the 39-year-old defied age and Indian bowlers to hit 125 of just 114 balls to help Sri Lanka post 273. The left-hander’s innings was punctuated by nine fours and five hits over the fence. The score that Jayasuriya helped Lanka post was far too much for the Indian team which crumbled for 173.

1. Virat Kohli – 183 (148) vs Pakistan in 2012 – Having been beaten by Bangladesh in a match in which Sachin Tendulkar scored his 100th international century, the pressure was firmly on India as old adversary Pakistan came up next . Having been set a mammoth target of 330 in their allotted 50 overs Virat Kohli walked in to join Sachin Tendulkar with score 0/1. What followed was something truly remarkable. Kohli added 133 runs for the second wicket with Sachin and then put on 172 runs for the third wicket with Rohit Sharma. His knock included 22 boundaries and two sixes and thanks to him India were always in control. Virat finally got out with India 13 short of the target, a task easily completed by the batsmen after him. Unfortunately, India eventually failed to make the semis, bowing out to Bangladesh on head to head.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 15:28 IST