Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar   Sachin Tendulkar   Sachin Tendulkar

"Without heroes we're all plain people and don't know how far we can go."

- Bernard Malamud.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is undoubtedly the super-batsman in world cricket. In the shorter version of the game he has an awesome record, which will be a tough one to surpass. Walking in as an opening batsman Tendulkar has almost made it a habit to score centuries. In the past fortnight, India played two matches in the Standard Bank Triangular Tournament.

The first was a do-or-die match against Kenya, which was the real shoot out for a place in the final against South Africa. Kenya had humiliated India by a whopping 70 runs in their second encounter, played at Port Elizabeth and Joseph Angara had made the Indian batting hero look like an ordinary mortal by knocking back the stumps. At Paarl, it was a determined Sachin Tendulkar who walked out with his skipper to open the innings.

The little maestro and Ganguly surpassed their own world record for the first wicket, adding 258 runs off 41.4 overs, effectively blasting the game away from Kenya. Ganguly was initially more adventurous and aggressive and went on to make 111 runs. After having allowed himself the time to settle in, Tendulkar opened out to play some cracking shots.

Sachin Tendulkar's bat is dreaded by bowlers the world over. Paarl witnessed seventeen blazing boundaries flow from the champion's bat; he went on to make 146 runs off just 132 balls. India, thanks to the masterly innings, piled on 351 runs off their 50 overs and went on to avenge their defeat at Port Elizabeth. They notched up a morale- boosting 186 runs victory going in to the final against South Africa.

Expectations were high; India had a real chance of putting behind the eight straight losses in ODI finals. They were looking for nothing short of a win. Shaun Pollock won the toss and asked India to bat first. As always, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar went out to open the innings. Ganguly was gobbled up by Pollock in the seventh over, yet there was hope, Sachin Tendulkar was playing an innings of caution.

The South African super express Nantie Hayward had other ideas. After having Tendulkar bottled up for a long period of time, Hayward forced him to drag a ball on to his stumps. Tendulkar was dismissed after making just 17 runs off 41 balls and with that India's chances of winning the final too had evaporated.

Kirsten, Gibbs and Kallis played well while chasing a modest target of 184. The result was a foregone conclusion; South Africa was cantering home. Ganguly decided to give Tendulkar a bowl and the diminutive hero was not done yet. Tendulkar foxed Kallis with a drifter and yorked him. Jonty Rhodes wanted to finish the match an in style and jumped out of the crease to smash the ball into the high heavens, only to be beaten by the big leg-break. Rahul Dravid standing behind the stumps completed an easy stumping.

The ninth final in a row too was lost, without a fight. Tendulkar's performance in the last two ODI matches makes him the 'player of the fortnight'.

Inside Stuff

Bradman never missed a Tendulkar innings in last five years [More]

It is always nice to be among the runs: Tendulkar [More]

Celebrity Articles

Tendulkar is a great ambassador for the game [More]

Sachin and Sourav hold a masterclass at Paarl [More]


Tendulkar's 10,000th run in ODIs [Scorecard | Ball-by-ball]

Career ODI milestones on Stats Guru [Click]

1. Against which team did Anil Kumble make his one-day debut?
Sri Lanka

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Barabati Stadium
Feroz Shah Kotla
Eden Gardens

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