Virat Kohli: India skipper Virat Kohli on Friday surpassed former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi to win the most number of man of the match titles in T20Is. Kohli’s unbeaten 94 against West Indies at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad led him to win the 12th player of the match award.
Kohli equaled the record held by all-rounder Mohammad Nabi. The 34-year-old Afghanistan cricketer has played 74 shortest format games and achieved the man of the match title 12 times. Before the Hyderabad T20I, both Kohli and Afridi had 12 titles each. The 31-year-old India captain is highly likely to overtake Nabi in the upcoming matches.
It seems no other cricketer can chase him. Afridi, who featured in 99 T20I games, no longer plays international cricket. Kohli won the 12th title in his 73rd match. It was also his first against World Cup T20I champions. He smashed his 23rd T20I fifty and helped India to thrash the tourists. Captain Kohli has also the most number of T20I fifties (23), followed by Rohit Sharma (18).
Kohli’s 94 came off just 50 balls. He hit the Windies bowlers left, right and the center, smashing six sixes and six boundaries. Earlier, after invited to bat first, Kieron Pollard-led team frustrated Indian bowlers, posting 207 on the scoreboard. Thanks to Shimron Hetmyer’s 56 off 41 balls, Evin Lewis’ 40 off 17 and Pollard’s 37 off 19. Former skipper Jason Holder also played an unbeaten cameo, scoring 24 off seven balls.
For India, Yuzvendra Chahal took two wickets, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, and Washington Sundar got one each wicket. Chasing the target, India lost opener Sharma early in the fourth over, scoring eight of 10 balls. Then Lokesh Rahul and Kohli ripped apart the Windies bowling line-up. After Rahul’s wicket for 62 off 40, Rishabh Pant joined Kohli and hit two maximums. India chased the target with eight balls to spare.