applause from the Gwalior crowd after reaching the 200-run milestone
against South Africa in the second Onedayer at the Roop Singh Stadium
Gwalior: Never annoy the Master. And that is what the South Africans
seemed to have done when they doubted a save by Sachin Tendulkar on
the boundary during the close finish in the first One-dayer in Jaipur
on Sunday. And they got the reply three days later as a Sachin-storm
blew them away on Wednesday.
After 50 overs and 226 minutes of blast at the Captain Roop Singh
Stadium, the little champion became the first man to get a double
hundred in Onedayers, returning unbeaten on exactly 200 and helping
India post 401 for three.
He, in the process, went past the highest individual score in
ODIs, 194 which was achieved by both Saeed Anwar of Pakistan and
Charles Coventry of Zimbabwe. Despite a fighting century from AB de
Villiers, those mountain of runs proved too much of a climb for the
visitors as they crumbled to 248 all out to hand India a 153-run
victory. De Villiers returned hut unbeaten on 114 (6x2, 4x13, 101b).
That meant the hosts wrapped up the three-match series with a game
yet to be played. The series win also ensured that India retained
their No. 2 ODI ranking.
After MS Dhoni opted to bat first, it was a Tendulkar show all the
way. The maestro was in silken touch from the very start with some
breathtaking display of willow-wielding at the venue that tends to
bring out the best in him — Tendulkar has played match-winning knocks
here during his last two visits, 97 against Pakistan and 100 versus
But none can be compared to this one. Pulling, driving, sweeping,
cutting... it seemed he was in a different zone. It was a surreal
experience for the 30,000 fans. Those lucky to be here can now tell
their grandchildren that they were there when Tendulkar was scripting
his dream sequence that contained three huge sixes and 25 boundaries
and took just 147 balls.
Suffering from cramps and fatigue in the last minutes of the
innings, he managed a single in the final over to reach the coveted
mark even as Dhoni went hammer and tongs to help India cross the
400-mark in ODIs for the third time.
It wasn't a perfect start for India with dangerman Virendra
Sehwag, declared fit to play in the morning, departing early. But with
Tendulkar looking infallible, Dinesh Karthik proved the ideal foil at
the other end and there was no stopping India. Growing in confidence
in the master's company, Karthik too made the bowlers look ordinary as
the duo put on 194 runs for the second wicket. Karthik collected 75
runs off 85 deliveries before holing out to Herschelle Gibbs at
mid-wicket off Parnell.