While his namesake and former team-mate Virat Kohli was captaining India to a thrilling Test win at Lord’s this week, Taruwar Kohli was skippering Cawthorne CC to a vital victory in their battle against relegation.
The 32-year-old batsman was part of the India under 19 team which won the 2008 World Cup, alongside the likes Virat – who is now captain of the Indian senior team and considered one of the greatest current players – and Ravindra Jadeja who is also touring England this summer.
Taruwar, who has had a long career in professional cricket in India, said: “We wanted to win that World Cup for the country and it was an amazing experience. It’s been amazing to see Virat and Jadeja grow since then. I still keep in touch with both of them.”
Kohli has enjoyed his time at Cawthorne this summer.
He said: “It’s been lovely and I have found it very fun. It is challenging to play on seaming pitches but I enjoy it.
“The people at the club are very nice and supportive.
“I always wanted to have at least one go at playing in the UK.
“I am here with my wife and daughter and we’ve all enjoyed being here.”
Kohli has 839 league runs this season, just four fewer than the top-scorer and fellow Indian Harpreet Singh who plays for Barnsley Woolley Miners.
Kohli said: “I knew him in India and he recommended this league to me.
“We go to the gym together and he sometimes comes to our place for dinner – some Indian curries.
“It’s good to have him here. I’m aware of the top-scorer list but we’re both here to win games for our teams.”
Cawthorne increased the gap between them and the two-team relegation zone from two to 12 points with victory at bottom club Wickersley.
Kohli made 110 not out off 86 balls with 18 fours and two sixes as Cawthorne posted 261, after Liam Wiles made 58.
Wickersley were then bowled out for 169 with Michael Jepps taking three wickets.
It was Kohli’s third century of the league season, in which he is averaging 70.
He said: “It was a much-needed win. We had a good start with the ball then I wanted to bat until the end and we have been focusing on batting 50 overs which we haven’t done much.
“We took important early wickets and we were a lot better as a fielding unit.
“We have won our last two games now and will be looking to keep the momentum going into the last games.
“We know the gap is there but we want to finish strongly. It has been a tough season for the club. It is not an easy league and we have had injuries and a few changes at the club. I think we have lost five or six games in the final over or two. But the players have learned a lot.”
Cawthorne were helped by sixth-placed Elsecar chasing 144 for a three-wicket win at second-bottom Hallam.
Moin Ashraf and Liam Blackburn took four wickets each then Kashif Naveed made 59 not out.
Fourth-placed Barnsley Woolley Miners fell 16 runs short chasing 207 at home to second-placed Sheffield Collegiate. The Shaw Laners were 65 for five then Ali Jahangir (67) and Beck Frostick (50) top-scored.
Cawthorne CC will hold their President’s Day game on Sunday from 1pm which will see a team of overseas players take on an XI of Yorkshire League players.