Chase-master Virat Kohli once again delivered the goods when it mattered the most as he edges past his deputy Rohit Sharma to become the leading run-scorer in T20 internationals on Wednesday. Kohli played a match-winning knock of unbeaten 72 that helped India record a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over South Africa in the second T20 international at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.
Kohli started the match on 2,369 runs in 65 innings to Rohit’s 2,422 runs in 88 innings. Rohit got out LBW to Andile Phehlukwayo for just 12, Kohli went on to notch up his 22nd half-century in T20 internationals and also surpass Rohit at the top of the T20 run-scoring charts.
Kohli now has 2,441 runs from 66 innings to Rohit’s 2,434 from 89 innings. In third is New Zealand’s Martin Guptill who has 2,283 runs from 75 innings. Kohli’s innings was studded with four fours and three sixes and he took 52 balls to remain unconquered on 72. Kohli also took a stunning catch running to his left from mid-off off Navdeep Saini’s bowling in the 12th over to send counterpart Quinton de Kock (52 off 37 balls; 8×4) back in the hut and stymie South Africa’s run-flow as they ended up with 149/5 in 20 overs after being asked to bat first.
India then posted 151/3 in 19 overs largely due to Kohli’s exploits. The two sides next meet in the final T20 encounter at Bengaluru on Sunday.
During the 150 chase, Kohli also completed his 22nd half-century in T20I history. With this, he became the leading batsmen to score most 50+ scores in the shorter version. He pipped familiar foe Rohit (21) to achieve this milestone.
Most 50+ scores in T20Is
22 Virat Kohli *
21 Rohit Sharma
16 Martin Guptill
15 Brendon McCullum/ Chris Gayle
14 Tillakaratne Dilshan
Crediting his bowlers for restricting the visitors to a modest 149 for five. Kohli hailed his young bowling unit minus the mains like Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. “Bowlers showed a lot of character. The pitch was very good and they (South Africa) got off to a good start so it was an outstanding effort from the bowler to pull the game back from us,” he said at the post-match press conference.
“That’s exactly what we’re looking at, try out new people and see who stands up under pressure,” he added.