On the occasion of Sachin Tendulkar’s 46th Birthday, we take a trip down memory lane.
Sir Donald Bradman had famously said that Sachin Tendulkar was one batsman in the modern era who reminded the Australian of himself. And on this day in 1998, Tendulkar showed exactly why he is called the master blaster.
Two days after Tendulkar single-handedly led India into the final of the Coca Cola Cup, with a 131-ball 143, the little maestro slammed another majestic ton as the Men in Blue clinched the title with a six-wicket win.
Incidentally, it was Tendulkar’s birthday and he celebrated it in style, by blowing away the mighty Aussies in Sharjah. His knock of 134 off 131 balls this time saw India chase down Australia’s target of 272 with 9 balls to spare.
Australia skipper Steve Waugh and Darren Lehmann had slammed half-centuries as India were set a target of 273 runs. Chasing the stiff total, opener Sourav Ganguly fell early, but Tendulkar ensured than India remained in the hunt.
The little master was ably supported by skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, who also slammed a half-century. A wrong decision might have cut-short the little genius’ innings, but Ajay Jadeja and Hrishikesh Kanitkar helped India cross the line as celebrations started.
Sachin’s 134 included twelve fours and three towering sixes and the way he took special liking for Shane Warne — modern generation’s best leg-spinner by far — is stuff of legends. After the series, there were stories of how Warne had nightmare of Tendulkar dancing down the track and lofting him for straight sixes.
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