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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Tendulkar leaves Flower in the shade

February 20, 2003 11:19 IST

Sachin Tendulkar missed out on another one-day century but still produced a master-class as India put Zimbabwe firmly in their place with an 83-run World Cup win on Wednesday.

Tendulkar, the only batsman to look comfortable on a slowish Harare Sports Club track, seemed certain to extend his world record of 33 one-day centuries before falling for 81.

His dismissal -- to the best ball of the match -- caused a few mid-innings hiccups before Rahul Dravid (43 not out) marshalled the lower order to post a respectable 255 for seven.

Zimbabwe, in reply, never challenged, as they slumped to 86 for seven before being skittled for 172 with more than five overs remaining. No batsman reached 30.

Skipper Sourav Ganguly said: "I am relieved. A win always gets a smile in the dressing room. We were still only up to 80 percent of our game today."

The result moved India to second in Group A and, despite their earlier humiliation against Australia, kept them well in the hunt for the Super Six stage.

Zimbabwe are equal with Australia and India on eight points.

It was man of the match Tendulkar's ability to master the pitch -- and Andy Flower's total failure to do so -- which settled the match.


Flower is ranked among the world's best batsmen but was totally overshadowed by Tendulkar on Wednesday.

Powerful on both sides of the wicket, he did not score his first boundary until the sixth over but then cut loose, flicking fast-medium bowler Douglas Hondo to square-leg and driving Heath Streak past midwicket and square leg for two boundaries in an over.

He and Virender Sehwag (36 off 38 balls) put on 99 at a run a ball before Sehwag fell, caught behind off Guy Whittall's medium pace as he shaped to cut.

The pace slowed with Dinesh Mongia's arrival. Frustrated, Mongia holed out in the deep as he hit out at Grant Flower's left-arm spin.

That made it 142 for two in the 28th over and two balls later Tendulkar's 91-ball innings was over.

Flower, bowling from wide of the crease, flighted a beautiful ball which caught Tendulkar in no-man's land and turned sharply to clip the off bail.

"I got one to turn for a change," a delighted Flower said. "It was nice to see." He ended with two for 14.

Opening bowler Andy Blignaut, smashed for 22 in his first two overs, returned to remove Ganguly who, on 24, attempted a chip over mid-on and was caught off a leading edge.

When Yuvraj Singh fell to Murphy for one it was 184 for five but Dravid and Mohammad Kaif, with an inventive 25 off 24 deliveries, ensured a good total.


The home team, delighted with their performance in the field after winning the toss, were knocked right out of their stride in reply, losing two quick wickets to the irrepressible Javagal Srinath.

The veteran quick bowler had Mark Vermeulen caught behind with the sixth ball of the innings to make it one for one. Soon it was 23 for two, with the runs drying up completely.

Ganguly later cashed in on the Zimbabweans' mounting desperation by removing Grant Flower and Dion Ebrahim with successive deliveries, both caught in the deep, on his way to three wickets for 22.

The key scalp, however, was always going to be Andy Flower.

The former Zimbabwean captain, wearing a black wristband in protest at President Robert Mugabe's policies, never looked comfortable.

He survived a big appeal from Srinath for a caught behind on two, could have been run out twice and was then dropped on eight as he mis-hit a pull off Srinath to short square leg.

Off spinner Harbhajan ended his scratchy 53-ball 22 with a leg-side ball which somehow came off the back of Flower's legs and deviated back into the stumps.

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