KL Rahul in action during Cricket World Cup 2023© AFP
Middle-order batter KL Rahul made history on Sunday, smashing India’s fastest century in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup. Rahul accomplished this record during the World Cup match against the Netherlands at his home ground of M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. In the match, Rahul smashed 102 in just 64 balls, with 11 fours and four sixes. He struck runs at a strike rate of over 159. Rohit Sharma, India’s skipper had the fastest WC century for India previously. It came in 63 balls against Afghanistan in this tournament only at Delhi. In nine World Cup matches so far, KL has scored 347 runs at an average of 69.40 and a strike rate of over 93. He has scored one century and a fifty, with the best score of 102. He is India’s fourth-highest run-scorer in this World Cup, behind Virat Kohli (594), Rohit (503) and Shreyas Iyer (421 runs).
In 22 ODIs and 20 innings this year, KL has scored 878 runs at an average of 67.53, with the best score of 111*. He has scored two centuries and five fifties this year. He has emerged as a highly dependent middle-order batter for India.
Coming to the match, India won the match and elected to bat first. They posted 410/4 in their fifty overs.
Shreyas Iyer (128* in 94 balls with 10 fours and five sixes) and KL (102) led India’s onslaught on Netherlands. But knocks from Rohit Sharma (61 in 54 balls with eight fours and two sixes), Shubman Gill (51 in 32 balls, with three fours and four sixes) and Virat Kohli (51 in 56 balls, with five fours and a six) laid down the foundation.
Bas de Leede (2/82) was the leading wicket-taker for the Netherlands. Paul Van Meekeren (1/90) and Roelof van der Merwe (1/53) also took a wicket each.
India needs to defend 411 runs to complete nine wins in nine matches and end the league stage on high and the Netherlands needs to score these runs to secure an ICC Champions Trophy spot.
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