11th Match (D/N), Hobart, Feb 28 2012, Commonwealth Bank Series
(36.4/50 ov, target 321)
India won by 7 wickets (with 80 balls remaining)
Player Of The Match
• The Report by Siddhartha Talya

Dazzling Kohli ton keeps India alive

An imperious display of strokemaking by Virat Kohli powered an Indian fightback conspicuous in its absence recently, made a mockery of an imposing score and kept India's finals hopes alive

Match centre 
Scorer: Sanjay Murari
Commentator: Nitin Sundar
Scorecard summary
Sri Lanka320/4(50 overs)
India321/3(36.4 overs)

That about completes our live coverage for this game, but Sid Monga will have a lot of presser news, analysis and comment coming in soon. Do hang around for that, and while you wait, here's Sid Talya's report. While you wait, sit back, close your eyes and replay that Kohli cover drive off Malinga again and again in your mind. Sublime. This is Nitin Sundar, signing off from ESPNcricinfo's commentary tab, for the last time. You have been a fantastic audience, and bringing this game to you has been a privilege. Goodbye and good luck!

The CB series table is crowding again, with one game to go. India and SL are now tied on points at 15, but the latter can go one better on Friday. They will have to, else India will play Australia (19 points) in the final.

The Man of the Match is Kohli: "To be able to chase 320 in 40 overs in a must win game, and put that sort of a batting effort together was a great team effort. I committed a few mistakes in the last games after getting to 20 and 30, trying to middle every ball, which doesn't happen always in international cricket. This shows our character as a team, and how well we can execute our plans. It is about working hard and sticking in there. We will be rooting for Australia in Friday. This is a special feeling, probably my best one-day innings so far."

Dhoni: "This was some of the best ODI cricket I have been a part of. When you need 321 off 40, you need a good start. You need the quantity, but the quality ... We wanted to keep them down to 250, maximum 270.. We knew we had the firepower, but still 320 was more than we could digest. But once we got that start, we knew we could kick on. We are going on a couple of days of shopping, and some practice at the same time. Its not in our hands now."

Mahela: "You can't do much when they bat like that.. Virat played out of his skin on a true pitch. It was the first off day for our bowlers in the tournament, so fair enough. It wasn't just Kohli, it was also the way the others batted around him. Our qualification is still in our hands, which is great. Hope we come back from this and win in Melbourne."

321 off 40 overs is one thing. Finishing it off in 36.4 is quite another. And that too after losing Tendulkar and Sehwag for relatively few. And that too at the fag end of a summer full of disappointment and discontent. An asking rate so ridiculous that it bordered on the impossible brought something out of India that hasn't been seen overseas from the moment Zaheer Khan pulled his hamstring on the first day of the Lord's Test. This team is capable of pulling off outrageous feats when they are clicking, and boy - have they clicked. This is an epochal moment in India's ODI cricket history. Keep an eye out for that man Virat Kohli. He's going to topple some batting records along the way.

Sri Lanka won't know what's hit them. This is an absolute train-wreck of a defence. To come out and take this pounding after scoring 320 against a ragged bowling attack ... Mind you, they weren't playing defensive, but were forced to take cover by India's turbo-charged batting.

Time to remind everyone that India are not yet in the final. A Sri Lankan win, or a tie, or a wash-out in the final league game will take Sri Lanka ahead of India on points. If Australia win that match, India will go through though they are tied with SL on points. India are 2-1 up on SL on head-to-head now, with one tie.

"Tell the Americans! This is why we are world champions!" says Rahul Malhotra.

Trust @sidin to point out that "Every time Shastri is locked in a lift India wins."

"Hoping that Dilshan scores another 160 on Friday," says Teja, clearly an India fan.

Wonder how Australia will approach the last game now. They have found Sri Lanka unbeatable recently, but India's just shown them how it is done.

"Sachin waited for around 50 ODIs and 4 tours to get his first one day hundred in Australia. Kohli did it in 8th ODI in his first tour. What a player for the present and the future he is going to be." Comparisons with Sachin can wait, Vivekraj, but you have made a good point there.

Malinga to Kohli, FOUR runs
and that is how you pull a bunch of rabbits out of Geoff Boycott's hat. Full ball outside off, Kohli gets the front foot across, and smokes the leather off that one. The ball has tracer bulleted its way to the long-off fence. Kohli didn't wait to see its entire path. He turns to his team-mates, pumps his fists and smiles. Raina trots across and the two embrace in happiness. What. A. Chase. Sri Lanka have been battered.
Malinga to Kohli, FOUR runs
Kohli glorious! The front foot crouches forward, the bat face opens, the pose is held as the ball booms away over the covers. He swaggers down the pitch, smiles and thumps Raina's gloves.
Malinga to Raina, 1 run
Raina can take guard on the front foot if he wants to. Everything is full. Pitched up and pu nched through the covers for one.
Malinga to Kohli, 1 run
another near yorker, Malinga is just not getting the lengths today. Not conceding the four in itself is a mini-victory. Whipped with the angle to deep midwicket for one.

"Amidst all this carnage, spare a thought for Dilshan! Pity him. 2 of his highest scores, both against India and both lost," points out Venkat..

end of over 368 runs
INDIA: 311/3CRR: 8.63 • RRR: 0.71 • Need 10 from 13.2ov
Suresh Raina39 (23)
Virat Kohli124 (83)
Angelo Mathews7-0-44-0
Lasith Malinga7-0-86-1
Mathews to Raina, no run
offcutter nips away from Raina, who drives it into the covers.
Mathews to Kohli, 1 run
length to Kohli, who drives through mid-off for one more. Mahela looks clueless, pouts the lower lip. SL have given up.
Mathews to Raina, 1 run
full ball on Raina's pads, whipped through square leg for one.
Mathews to Kohli, 1 run
full length ball to Kohli, who works it through midwicket for one.

What a battering this. Can Sri Lanka recoup before Friday's game? They have time, the series goes into a three-day break after this.

Mathews to Raina, 3 runs
Raina threads the covers now and gets three more.
Mathews to Raina, 2 runs
Raina jumps out to a length ball outside off and heaves Mathews over wide mid-off for two more.

Malinga 7-0-86-1. The last time I saw him miss so many yorkers was in his final spell on April 2. Another Indian was carting him through square leg on that night.

end of over 3524 runs
INDIA: 303/3CRR: 8.65 • RRR: 1.20 • Need 18 from 13.2ov
Virat Kohli122 (81)
Suresh Raina33 (19)
Lasith Malinga7-0-86-1
Thisara Perera7-0-59-0
Malinga to Kohli, FOUR runs
gosh, I am tired just describing this over. Spare a thought for Malinga. Another low full toss on the toes, you know the rest. This is horrid bowling in the Powerplay, with fine leg in the circle. Kohli has 122 off 81 balls.
Malinga to Kohli, FOUR runs
If you are the Bellerive Oval, you are seeing the world's best death bowler being butchered. Kohli gets another low full toss on his toes and flicks it behind square leg for another four. Great batting, turning the pressure back on a nerveless bowler. A normally nervesless bowler.
Malinga to Kohli, FOUR runs
he's shredded Malinga. Absolute battering this now. This is almost the perfect yorker, it tails in and hurtles towards the toes. Kohli's bat comes down decisively, taking advantage of a missed inch of length. Four through fine leg.
Malinga to Kohli, FOUR runs
take cover in the covers! Pitched up outside off stump, and Kohli smashes it between cover and mid-off. Malinga squints as he follows the path of the ball.
Malinga to Kohli, SIX runs
Gambhir won't mind this. It could end in the 38th over. Length, length, listless length ball on the pads, Kohli's wrists do the rest and send them into the night sky. They land in the grassbanks again.
Malinga to Kohli, 2 runs
he smiles. He doesn't curse, he smiles. Kohli has played the innings of his life. Malinga goes full on middle and leg, Kohli flicks into the deep and hurries back for the second. And he soaks in the atmosphere. Take a bow, Kohli!

42 off 36 now.. India are walking this unless Malinga can pull a rabbit cage out of the hat.

end of over 3414 runs
INDIA: 279/3CRR: 8.2 • RRR: 2.62 • Need 42 from 13.2ov
Suresh Raina33 (19)
Virat Kohli98 (75)
Thisara Perera7-0-59-0
Lasith Malinga6-0-62-1
Perera to Raina, SIX runs
and STILL no bouncer to Raina. They keep throwing cannon fodder at him, and he keeps bombarding the grass banks beyond square leg. Full and sliding down the leg side, Raina's timing when he gets it in the slot is quite incomparable. Perfect wristwork after a big follow through, and the ball has disappeared.
Perera to Kohli, 1 run
slower ball on the pads, dinked behind square for one.
Best performances - batsmen
TM Dilshan
160 runs (165)
11 fours
3 sixes
Productive shot
leg glance
64 runs
3 fours
2 sixes
V Kohli
133 runs (86)
16 fours
2 sixes
Productive shot
leg glance
73 runs
9 fours
1 sixes
Best performances - bowlers
MF Maharoof
RA Jadeja
Match details
Bellerive Oval, Hobart
TossIndia , elected to field first
SeriesCommonwealth Bank Series 2012
Player Of The Match
Virat Kohli
Match numberODI no. 3251
Hours of play (local time)14.20 start, First Session 14.20-17.50, Interval 17.50-18.25, Second Session 18.25-21.55
Match days28 February 2012 - day/night match (50-over match)
Asad Rauf
Simon Taufel
TV Umpire
Simon Fry
Reserve Umpire
Ashley Barrow
Match Referee
Chris Broad
PointsIndia 5, Sri Lanka 0