nine: 19 PM IST
The Report by Karthik Krishnaswamy
India 275 for four (Tendulkar 134, Azharuddin 58, Fleming 2-47, Kasprowicz 2-48) defeat Australia 272 for nine (S Waugh 70, Lehmann 70, Prasad two-32, Kanitkar 2-58, Agarkar 2-61) by six wickets
Is activity at its finest when it throws up the unpredictable? Or does it attain its heights when a genius reveals up and would make the improbable glimpse completely predictable? It would be the cheesiest of motion picture scripts: our hero bats out of his skin in opposition to the world’s greatest team to drag his struggling aspect into the remaining of a match the place they satisfy the same opponents, and conquer them thanks to one more masterful energy from our hero, who, hold on, takes place to be celebrating his 25th birthday.
When it happens in serious existence, it is breathtaking.
Two times on from his 143 amid swirling sands, Sachin Tendulkar scored an additional majestic hundred in a tall chase, to almost singlehandedly place the Sharjah tri-nations cup in India’s arms. Extra than that, the top quality of his batting ensured that this tournament – a cola-flavoured tri-collection in an ocean of cola-flavoured tri-sequence – will transcend its fast context and dwell in the memory effectively further than the occupations of individuals associated in it.
Many years from now, highlights of this event will fill our Tv set screens when April 24 comes along, bringing us the gleeful faces, fated hardly ever to age, of the lovers who – as Tony Greig place it two times back – danced in the aisles. We’ll however be talking about Shane Warne likely round the wicket, and Tendulkar greeting the go by jumping out of his crease, exposing all three stumps, and launching the ball out of the footmarks and above lengthy-on for six. The protect drives, the again-foot punches, the paddle-sweeps, the straight drives off Damien Fleming and Warne, respectively, that remaining Sourav Ganguly and Steve Bucknor, respectively, on their backsides these will continue to be seared in our reminiscences.
But for all that, Tendulkar has scored – and will score – hundreds significantly additional challenging than this 25th birthday bash. Australia’s assault contained only 3 frontline bowlers, leaving batting allrounders Tom Moody, Mark Waugh and Steve Waugh to fill at least two-fifths of their bowling quota. In the course of particular stretches of Tendulkar’s innings, all he experienced to do was milk these lesser bowlers for singles to the deep fielders, singles that Australia have been delighted to give absent in the reduced-intensity waiting sport that the center overs of ODI innings generally are.
Australia’s lack of authentic wicket-takers, apart from Warne and Fleming – who, by the way, was celebrating his 28th birthday – compelled them to engage in this ready sport and hope for India to crumble less than scoreboard tension. This could have occurred had India lost a few of early wickets, or – as they did in the final round-robin game two times back – a few of speedy wickets halfway by means of their chase, but they didn’t, as Ganguly, Nayan Mongia – after yet again promoted to No. 3 – and Mohammad Azharuddin all performed valuable arms around Tendulkar. Without the need of those people wickets, the goal Australia set – 273 – was tough but not approximately enough presented their bowling methods, and given Tendulkar’s astonishing form.
A lot more to comply with…