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Cricinfo: India v England 2008-09
CricinfoCricinfo: India v England 2008-09

1st Test: India v England at Chennai, Dec 11-15, 2008

Tendulkar scripts historic win

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar scored his 41st Test century to guide India to a historic win in Chennai. Their successful chase of 387 is now the highest score to win a match in the fourth innings in India. England seemed to have pulled it back when VVS Laxman fell with the score on 224, but Yuvraj Singh, who made an unbeaten 85, provided Tendulkar with excellent support as the pair added 163 for the fifth wicket in relatively quick time to see India home.

A feature of the partnership was that both players stuck to their natural game, never showing signs of getting bogged down- the maximum runless streak during their stand was nine balls- and going for their shots when the opportunity was on offer to keep India in the hunt throughout. The presence of Tendulkar was vital. He remained entrenched and massively focused after overcoming a testing start against Flintoff, who was the only pace bowler Kevin Pietersen could rely on for control, and ensured Yuvraj focused on his batting.

The closing stages were dominated by scenes of a hysteric crowd cheering dot-balls as Yuvraj ensured Tendulkar had time to reach his 41st century. The moment came with perfect symmetry as Tendulkar swept Graeme Swann to fine leg to reach the hundred and complete victory. All the previous times India have come up short in run-chases, and claims that Tendulkar doesn't contribute at crunch times, will be forgotten.