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Tendulkar's nineties' jinx continues
November 08, 2007
Sachin Tendulkar [Images] is finding it hard to unlock the mystery behind century number 42.
He faltered in the nervous nineties again and missed a hundred against Pakistan in the second One-Day International in Mohali on Thursday.
When Tendulkar was caught behind off Umar Gul on 99, it was the fifth time in his last 19 outings, and 13th overall, that he was dismissed in the nineties. Three of those instances, when he fell short by just one run, have been this year.
Tendulkar displayed awesome form and devastated the Pakistan attack with shots that reminded one of his days of yore. His 91-ball knock included 14 fours and a six off Shahid Afridi [Images] as India posted a huge 321 for nine wickets in their 50 overs after electing to bat first.
He raced to the 90s and looked set for a big score but was once again overcome by nerves, leaving the crowd, and his team mates, who all stood up waiting to applaud his knock, stunned.
Tendulkar was looking to steal a single of Umar Gul, but as he prepared to steer one in the third man region, he edged it behind and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal held the ball, diving to his right.
With 78 centuries to his name in both forms of the game, Tendulkar faced a similar problem at the start of his one-day career and it took him 79 matches to score his first century, which came almost after five years.
But once he scored his first ton -- against Australia in Sri Lanka [Images] at Colombo in the Singer World series - he scored centuries at will. But in the last few outings the century machine has stopped churning out those tons. The last time Tendulkar got a hundred (100 not out) was against the West Indies [Images] in January this year at Vadodara.
But that came while batting at number four and 26 ODIs back. In successive matches against South Africa in Ireland in June, he was out in the 90s. First he scored 99 and then 93 in the Future Cup series in Belfast.
A century eluded him again in the NatWest Series against England [Images], where he twice fell in the 90s. He scored 99 in Bristol and then 94 at Lord's. In between, he struck two fifties. In the last series against Australia, he made some good scores and twice got out in 70s. But his form has been excellent in his last 20 matches, having piled 942 runs, an average of 47, with the help of nine half centuries.
Tendulkar's dismissals in the 90s this year: