Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar gave Virat Kohli a standing ovation as the latter on Wednesday became the first batter to hit 50 ODI centuries. Tendulkar and Kohli were at par with 49 ODI tons ahead of India's ICC ODI World Cup semifinal against New Zealand at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
Sachin Tendulkar watched alongside BCCI secretary Jay Shah and other dignitaries as Virat Kohli made 117 runs from 114 balls to guide India to 397/4 against the Kiwis.
Shortly after Kohli's milestone innings, Sachin Tendulkar shared an emotional writeup brimming with nostalgia to congratulate Kohli.
"The first time I met you in the Indian dressing room, you were pranked by other teammates into touching my feet. I couldn’t stop laughing that day. But soon, you touched my heart with your passion and skill. I am so happy that that young boy has grown into a ‘Virat’ player. I couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record. And to do it on the biggest stage - in the World Cup Semi-final - and at my home ground is the icing on the cake," Sachin's post on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook read.
The first time I met you in the Indian dressing room, you were pranked by other teammates into touching my feet. I couldn’t stop laughing that day. But soon, you touched my heart with your passion and skill. I am so happy that that young boy has grown into a ‘Virat’ player.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) November 15, 2023
Kohli reached the landmark when he worked Kiwis pacer Lockie Ferguson to square leg for a double, moving from 98 to 100.
The whole heft of the achievement was magnified by the fact that November 15 also was the last time Tendulkar batted in an international match for India, a Test against the West Indies at this venue.
India vs NZ semifinal: As it happened in first innings
India's Virat Kohli struck a record 50th hundred in one-dayers to power the unbeaten hosts to 397 for four wickets against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old Kohli hit nine fours and two sixes before holing out in the deep off fast bowler Tim Southee, who took three wickets for 100.
Shreyas Iyer's blistering 105, which came off just 70 balls and was studded with four fours and eight sixes, provided the late fireworks for India's innings.
India captain Rohit Sharma, who made 47, won the toss and decided to bat and gave the hosts a rollicking start with a 71-run opening stand with Shubman Gill. But Gill retired hurt due to leg cramps but returned later to bat again, remaining unbeaten on 80.
The venue, where India won their last 50-overs World Cup title, has hosted four day-night contests so far at this tournament with three of those being won by the team batting first. Australia were the only team to win batting second at the ground after Glenn Maxwell hit an unbeaten double hundred.