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Kohli heroics keep India alive

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Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli celebrates the completion of India's stunning pursuit of 320 in 36.4 overs, in which he hit a one-day-international-best 133 not out

A pulsating unbeaten century by Virat Kohli sped India to an astonishing seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Hobart, keeping alive their hopes of making the Commonwealth Bank Series finals.

Set 321 for victory and needing to reach the target within 40 overs to secure a bonus point that would draw his side level with Sri Lanka, Kohli struck 133 - his best effort in one-day internationals - to complete India’s third-highest chase with in 36.4 overs.

Kohli’s 86-ball innings, featuring 16 fours and two sixes, rendered Dilshan’s 160 not out - his highest ODI score - and Sangakkara’s 105 in vain.

However, India still need to rely on Australia beating Sri Lanka on Friday to go through to the finals with a superior win/loss record against their fellow tourists.

A whirlwind opening partnership of 54 from 33 deliveries between Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag put India on course for their unlikely sub-40-over mission.

Sehwag went for 30 when he miscued Farveez Maharoof to mid-on and Lasith Malinga trapped Tendulkar plumb in front 39, also in the mandatory powerplay.

Kohli then shared a third-wicket partnership of 115 with Gautam Gambhir, which Sri Lanka's bowlers had no answers to; even the normally tidy Malinga struggled in the face of the onslaught.

A run-out accounted for Gambhir on 63, but Raina combined with Kohli for an unbroken 120-run alliance, including 24 from one over bowled by Malinga, who finished with a sorry 1-96 from 7.4.

Earlier, after Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss, Dilshan and Sangakkara responded Ravindra Jadeja having Mahela Jayawardene caught at slip for 22 by combining to the tune of 200 runs.

Praveen Kumar finally broke through, bowling Sangakkara, who struck eight fours and two maximums from 87 balls.

Dilshan, whose 165 deliveries included 11 fours and three sixes, continued despite Thisara Perera being run out and Angelo Mathews holing out off Zaheer Khan as Sri Lanka posted 320 for four.