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On this Day: Tendulkar storm rattles Australia in Sharjah

Last updated on: April 22, 2020 21:41 IST
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Sachin Tendulkar

IMAGE: Sachin Tendulkar played a knock of 143 runs. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/AllSport/Getty Images

It was on April 22, 1998, when bating great Sachin Tendulkar hit a magnificent 143 against Australia that helped India qualify for the final of the Austral-Asia Cup in Sharjah.

 

This is rated as Tendulkar's best ODI innings ever, even though it came in a lost cause.

India were playing for a spot in the final of the Coca Cola Cup and faced a huge target of 285 for victory. A few overs were lost to a desert storm, making India's task more difficult of even qualifying for the final. But Tendulkar made the difference yet again, against the mighty Australians.

He smashed 143 from 131 balls to single-handedly take India to the final despite them losing that match. The right-hander was at his brutal best as the Aussie bowlers were made to run for cover and when Tendulkar was finally dismissed many were left bewildered by his batting heroics.

Batting first, Australia had scored 284/7 in their 50 overs courtesy of Michael Bevan's knock of 101. However, the target was adjusted to 276 for India from 46 overs owing to a sandstorm.

Just when things looked out of reach, Tendulkar stepped up with the bat and although India could not win the contest his splendid knock ensured that they made it to the final ahead of New Zealand.

Chasing 276, India lost its opening wicket of Sourav Ganguly (17) in the ninth over before Tendulkar found some support in Nayan Mongia (35).

With captain Mohammad Azharuddin (14) and Ajay Jadeja (1) perishing cheaply, Tendulkar took the onus on himself.

Against a strong Australian bowling line-up comprising of Damien Fleming, Michael Kasprowicz, Shane Warne and Tom Moody, Tendulkar proved to be unstoppable.

He put on a 104-run stand for the fifth wicket with VVS Laxman (23 not out) to help India achieve the qualification mark for the final before he was caught behind off Fleming.

And a couple of days later he blazed another century on his birthday to take India to an unlikely victory in the final.

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