He exclaimed with excitement, leaping into the air and pumping his right fist. Possibly forgotten by the general public during Virat Kohli’s almost three-year century drought was his signature celebration. Kohli is now returning to what he does best after having the monkey off his back during the Asia Cup T20 in September.

Tuesday at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati, India defeated Sri Lanka by 67 runs to take a 1-0 series lead. Virat Kohli recorded his second consecutive ODI century (he scored 113 against Bangladesh last month). It was Kohli’s 73rd century overall and 45th in ODIs.

In only 87 deliveries (12 fours and one six), the 34-year-old scored 113 runs as India amassed a staggering 373/7 after being brought in. Pathum Nissanka (72, 80b), Dhananjaya de Silva (47, 40b), and Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka all made significant contributions for the visitors, but the challenging chase never felt within their reach. They could only use 306/8.

Near the conclusion of the game, the only thing that mattered was whether Shanaka could get his century, which he achieved off the last ball of the innings. The Indians swiftly made light of the issue when Mohammed Shami ran out Shanaka at the non-end striker for retreating out of his crease, and the hitter was able to continue.

Aside from Kohli’s century, Rohit Sharma (83, 67b, 9x4s, 3x6s) and Shubman Gill (70, 60b, 11x4s) also scored easy half-centuries for India. Umran Malik, an Indian bowler, finished with figures of 3/57 in eight hot overs.

Along with the favorable surface, some shoddy Sri Lankan fielding also helped Kohli. At 52 and 81, respectively, wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis and Shanaka both dropped him.

At No. 3, Kohli immediately got going after Sharma and Gill’s opening partnership of 143 runs in 19.4 overs laid the groundwork for the innings. On his seventh delivery, he charged medium-pacer Shanaka and flicked the ball wide of mid-on for his maiden boundary. When the length was insufficient, Kohli yanked ruthlessly on the side of the leg. When the length was too long, he pointed directly downward.

After the game, Kohli said, “My preparation and aim always stay the same. “I believed I was striking the ball well. It was quite similar to the template I use. I made an effort to comprehend the circumstances in the second half. I made an effort to attain a comfortable score for us. Desperation won’t get you anywhere, that is the one lesson I have learned. There’s no reason to make things more difficult. You play freely outside while I can’t cling to anything. The match will continue. I won’t play indefinitely, but I am having fun and am in a good mood.

windy beginning

It was immediately clear that the circumstances were ideal for making strokes when Sharma and Gill stood guard on a bright day. The playing surface required Kasun Rajitha and debutant Dilshan Madushanka of Sri Lanka, the new-ball combo, to be accurate with their lines and lengths. They weren’t at all like that. While left-arm pacer Madushanka’s usual setting was short and wide, Rajitha often strayed into the pads.

With a barrage of boundaries, Sharma and Gill took advantage and helped India cruise to 75/0 in the opening 10 overs. The faster of the two batsmen, the India captain, reached his half-century off 41 deliveries with a strong sweep off leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga that went to deep square leg for four.

With a fast single to mid-off in the 18th over, Gill completed his fifty in 51 balls. With three consecutive fours off left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage in the very next over—two of which were flicks that flew to the leg-side boundary thanks to Gill’s powerful wrists—he almost came up to Sharma’s scoring pace.

A century was still possible, but Gill misplayed the ball in the 20th over, falling leg-before-wicket to Shanaka. Sharma missed a chance to make a difference as well by inside-edging a widish ball from Madushanka into the stumps. Just momentarily, India’s momentum was stopped by their dismissals. The Indian batsmen had to work hard to get an above-average score, however, as dew continues to be a significant issue at this location. In only six overs, Kohli and Shreyas Iyer amassed a 40-run partnership for the third wicket. KL Rahul entered the fray after Iyer was out trying to scoop off-spinner de Silva and quickly put up a 90-run partnership with Kohli.

No boundaries were hit throughout the first 34 balls of the Kohli-Rahul partnership. On the last ball of the 35th over, Rahul cut a low full toss from Wellalage into the point zone, breaking the deadlock. With a skipping down the track and a six against de Silva, Kohli celebrated reaching fifty in the next over.

While Rahul couldn’t capitalize on his start – he was bowled behind his legs off a slower delivery by Rajitha — Kohli brought up his three-figure milestone in 80 deliveries.

With the ball, the Sri Lankans were able to contain the damage in the remaining 10 overs, giving up 79 runs for four wickets. But since they lost three wickets in the opening 15 overs, their pursuit never really got going. After Nissanka and de Silva’s 72-run fourth-wicket stand, which was entertaining, they were both out, and Shanaka had to win the match by improving his batting average.