Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was a batting powerhouse and was known for his calm and composed temperament on the field. Regarded as one of the best batsmen to play the gentlemen’s game, one of the finest knocks of Sachin’s career came against mighty Australia during the 6th match of Coca Cola Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on April 22, 1998.
Entering the contest, the Australian captain Steve Waugh won the toss and invited the 'Men in Blue' to bowl first. Batting first, Australia was at their fluent best as they managed to post a total of 284 runs on the board at the loss of seven wickets in their 50 overs. Michael Bevan emerged as the highest run-getter for his side with a sublime knock of 101 runs off 103 deliveries. He was aptly supported by Mark Waugh who added 81 runs to the scoreboard in 99 balls.
For India, Venkatesh Prasad was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets under his belt while Harvinder Singh, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, and Sachin Tendulkar had one each to their name.
Chasing 285, India started on a poor note as they lost Sourav Ganguly in the ninth over for 17. This was followed by Sachin Tendulkar and Nayan Mongia scripting a crucial partnership in the middle with Tendulkar showing his class and character. However, the match was interrupted by a wild storm and after the break, India’s target was changed from 285 in 50 overs to 277 in 46.
While the other Indian batters failed to produce some substantial knocks, Tendulkar emerged as the wrecker-in-chief for the 'Men in Blue' with his stunning knock of 143 runs off 131 deliveries. His knock included nine boundaries and five maximums at a strike rate of 109.16. Tendulkar’s knock against Australia is also known as the ‘Desert Storm’.
Though India lost the match by 26 runs, the knock by Sachin Tendulkar is still regarded as one of the best in One Day Internationals.
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