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Mon Feb 24 2003
Issue No: 157

Well-oiled Indian machine steamrolls Namibia

India were always expected to put it across Namibia but what was most heartening was the emphatic manner in which the victory was achieved. After Namibian captain Deon Kotze won the toss and put the Indians in, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly helped themselves to classy tons. Both the men struggled initially on a slightly damp wicket but to their credit they didn't let this ruffle them, concentrating instead on playing in the 'V' whilst forging a mammoth 244-run partnership. Tendulkar was eventually dismissed after he made 152 off 151 balls, his 34th ODI ton. Ganguly, for his part, went on to make an unbeaten 112 off 119 balls, his first ODI hundred since September and his 20th overall. With both the big guns firing, India piled on a massive 311/2 in their 50 overs. Chasing down the target was always going to be an impossible task for the inexperienced Namibians from there on and they duly crumbled to 130 all out. Yuvraj Singh (4/6 in 4.3 overs) was the most successful bowler for India on the day.

Ganguly eyes crunch England game

India brushed aside the challenge of Namibia on Sunday and immediately turned their attention to their next World Cup Group A match against England.

Sachin Tendulkar top-scored with 152 and captain Sourav Ganguly rediscovered his form with an unbeaten 112 as India crushed the tournament minnows by 181 runs.

Ganguly, though, quickly looked ahead to Wednesday's game against in-form England who upset Pakistan by 112 runs on Saturday.

"I watched the game," he said. "England played very well, but we will be up for it."

Ganguly thinks good batting will be vital if India are to beat England in the day-night match in Durban. "The key to the game will be putting runs on the board," he said. "Our improving form is certainly going to help us there."

Ganguly, nursing a cut on his chin suffered after edging a ball on to his face, was relieved to make a century after failing to reach fifty in the first three World Cup games or during a recent one-day series in New Zealand.

"I wanted to spend as much time as possible at the crease," he said.

Man-of-the-match Sachin Tendulkar, who has mustered 321 runs in the tournament and top-scored in each of India's four World Cup games, said he was focusing on one match at a time. "The important thing is I continue to maintain this form," he said. "All of us have to contribute with the bat to make the difference between winning and losing."

India players take Gandhi's steam train

India's cricketers followed in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi ahead of Sunday's game against Namibia, boarding the same steam train taken by the former India leader 110 years ago. It was at Pietermaritzburg station on a cold night in 1893 that the 23-year-old Gandhi, working in South Africa as a lawyer, was thrown out of a whites-only first-class train compartment because of the colour of his skin. The incident moved Gandhi to take up the fight against racial discrimination in South Africa before returning home to lead India to freedom from British rule in 1947. "We are very happy to make this trip. We are proud as Indians. We are proud of him," India captain Sourav Ganguly said. The players took the Gandhi memorial train, drawn by the same steam engine used in 1893, and attended the unveiling of a stone plaque at the spot where Gandhi fell on the platform.

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Shane Warne claimed seven wickets on the final day of Australia's tour match against Mumbai in 2000. Chasing 317 for victory after his memorable display, the visitors were in turn ambushed by another leg-spinner Sairaj Bahatule, who claimed four wickets to reduce them to 141/6 before the match ended in a draw.

The most impressive feature about the Indian team's win against Namibia was the manner in which it was achieved. After the emphatic result, Sourav Ganguly's men now head into the crunch matches against England and Pakistan with fresh vigour and renewed confidence. Stay with as we diligently bring to you every important move that the 'Men in Blue' make.

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Who was the first batsman to score a hundred in an India-England ODI?

Previous Question

Sachin Tendulkar became the highest run-getter in ODIs against Zimbabwe. Whom did he overtake?

Answer:Sourav Ganguly

"We don't even have five per cent chance of winning (the World Cup. Our sight should be on the Cup, whereas we are just thinking of qualifying for the Super Six," Bishan Singh Bedi, on the Indian team

"I realise both Tendulkar and Ganguly made big innings against a minnow like Namibia - but whichever team you score a ton against can only but help increase confidence," Imran Khan

"I feel India must seriously consider playing either Ajit Agarkar or Sanjay Bangar in place of the struggling Dinesh Mongia," Vasanth G

Sachin Tendulkar became the first player to score an ODI hundred against ten different nations when he made 152 against Namibia.

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