Tendulkar fails to emulate Bradman’s feat (Lead)

March 25th, 2011 - 12:45 am ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Ahmedabad, March 24 (IANS) Playing against India, Don Bradman struck his 100th first-class century at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1947 and Thursday night Sachin Tendulkar could not repay the compliment by scoring his 100th international century against the Australians.

India, however, ended Australia’s 12-year-old dominance over the World Cup by winning the quarterfinal and Tendulkar played a big part in it, scoring a fifty.

For Tendulkar, however, the wait for his century of centuries continues as India move to Mohali to face arch-rivals Pakistan in the semifinal March 30.

The setting at Sardar Patel Stadium was perfect for Tendulkar’s special knock. He raised hopes with his aggressive stroke-play but departed in the 19th over when he edged fast bowler Shaun Tait to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin after scoring a valuable 53 off 68 balls. He also crossed 18,000 ODI runs, much to the delight of a rapturous crowd.

In fact, Tendulkar didn’t even wait for the umpire’s decision and started walking back, but a hesitant Ian Gould asked him to wait while he consulted with the third-umpire to check the legality of the delivery.

TV replays showed Tait was on the verge of bowling a back-foot no-ball but didn’t ground his heel and thus it ended the hopes of billions of fans, who were eagerly waiting to see Tendulkar achieve the feat at Motera, which has history written in every nook and corner of the stadium.

The stadium was special for Tendulkar as 12 years ago it was where he got his maiden double Test century against New Zealand. This is also the same ground where Indian legends Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar achieved historical landmarks.

Kapil broke New Zealander Richard Hadlee’s record to become the highest wicket-taker in Tests, while Gavaskar became the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Tests here.

Motera fans wanted Tendulkar to blast a majestic century against the Australians and take revenge for the 2003 World Cup final loss. Though revenge was taken, but fans were not fully satisfied.

“The stage was perfect for Tendulkar to get his 100th international century. The stadium is lucky for him. After all, he got his maiden double century here,” said Rakeb Patel, sporting a Tendulkar jersey.

Some fans, dressed in look-alike mode, waited for more than three hours at the entrance to the stadium for a glimpse of the master blaster.

Sachin acknowledged the cheers by waving to the crowd, who went berserk, giving a tough time to the security personnel.

Some female fans sporting colourful wigs had the name Tendulkar daubed on their cheeks.

“Today Motera would have gone berserk if Tendulkar had scored his 100th century. We prayed for his century. Hopefully he will get it against Pakistan. It will be a bigger contest,” said Malini Mehta, a teenager.

Now all eyes will be on the much-awaited India-Pakistan semifinal clash in Mohali. In their last World Cup meeting in 2003, Tendulkar made 98 in India’s six-wicket win over Pakistan. This time, fans would hope that Tendulkar will carry the team through to the final.

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