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Who would have predicted that: Virat Kohli 133* takes apart Lasith Malinga at Hobart in arguably his best ODI innings

India's Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli
India's Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli

In our feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.


23-year-old Virat Kohli had already scored 8 ODI centuries but he did not boast of even half the reputation he commands today. With a majestic 133* off just 86 deliveries, the youngster guided India to chase down 321 runs within just 36.4 overs in Hobart.


Match Summary


Sri Lanka 320/4 (50 overs) - Tillakaratne Dilshan* 160 (165), Kumar Sangakkara 105 (87); Ravindra Jadeja 1/43 (9), Zaheer Khan 1/61 (9)


India 321/3 (36.4 overs) - Virat Kohli* 133 (86), Gautam Gambhir 63 (64); Farveez Maharoof 1/21 (3), Lasith Malinga 1/96 (7.4)


Result - India won by 7 wickets


India had not started well in the Australian Tri Series (CB Series) in 2012 that comprised Australia and Sri Lanka alongside the Men in Blue. Every team was supposed to play the other team four times each in the league stage. 

The MS Dhoni-led side lost their first match against Australia by 65 runs and won the next by four wickets. India lost the other two games by 110 runs and 87 runs. Against Sri Lanka, they tied one game, won one and lost one, going into their last group match.



India were almost out of the tri-series final race, which comprised the best of three, but had an outside chance if they could win with a bonus point. When Sri Lanka put 320 runs on the board courtesy of 160 from Tillakaratne Dilshan and 105 from Kumar Sangakkara, India's hopes of making it to the final were all but over.


Fall of wickets: 1-49 (Mahela Jayawardene, 11.6 ov), 2-249 (Kumar Sangakkara, 43.2 ov), 3-279 (Thisara Perera, 45.3 ov), 4-309 (Angelo Mathews, 48.5 ov)


However, when Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar gave them a good start and Gautam Gambhir made a run a ball half century, it was game on. Virat Kohli then took it to another level, stroking an unbeaten 133 off just 86 balls in a knock that included 16 fours and 2 sixes. Kohli scores his runs at a strike rate of 155.

Lasith Malinga was in his pomp at the time and was the best death bowler around. Kohli hit him for a six and four boundaries on consecutive balls during his majestic knock. The captain-in-waiting made a mark for himself as India chased down the 321-run target within 36.4 overs to win by 7 wickets.

In the process, they became only the second team after Sri Lanka to win an ODI while chasing over 300 runs in less than 40 overs.

Sri Lanka won the last group match against Australia. As a result, India couldn't qualify for the final, but Kohli's knock is still remembered as one of the finest.


Fall of wickets: 1-54 (Virender Sehwag, 6.2 ov), 2-86 (Sachin Tendulkar, 9.2 ov), 3-201 (Gautam Gambhir, 27.3 ov)




India - Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav 

Sri Lanka - Mahela Jayawardene (c), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath


Match Details


Match: IND v SL, 11th Match, Australian Tri Series (CB Series)

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 

Toss: India won the toss and decided to bowl

Venue: Bellerive Oval, Hobart 

Umpires: Asad Rauf, Simon Taufel 

Third Umpire: Simon Fry 

Match Referee: Chris Broad


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