Tendulkar’s 42nd Test century puts India in command at Hamilton (Lead)

March 20th, 2009 - 8:36 am ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Hamilton, March 20 (IANS) Sachin Tendulkar cracked his 42nd Test century as India went to lunch at 348 for five in reply to New Zealand’s 279 on the third day of the first cricket Test here at Seddon Park Friday.
At the break, Tendulkar was batting on 135 and with him was captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on 22 as India built a lead of 105 runs.

The only wicket Indian wicket to fall in the first session, which produced 106 runs, was that of Yuvraj Singh. He was bowled shouldering arms to Chris Martin for 22.

Resuming at 278 for four, one run behind the hosts’ total, India straightaway went into the top gear with Tendulkar stroking the ball fluently.

The 35-year-old master craftsman and Yuvraj scored 35 runs in the first four overs.

Left-handed Yuvraj was all grace as he clipped Martin for two fours and Tendulkar drove the medium-pacer through the covers majestically.

Tendulkar was unstoppable as he glanced and cut Iain O’Brien for two more fours he was into 90s.

Martin and Iain O’Brien bowled successive maidens to restore some sanity, but Tendulkar, 70 overnight, raced to his hundred without wasting much time in the 90s.

Tendulkar, who saw Yuvraj lose his off-stump in an error of judgment, moved to 99 pushing into the covers and reached his century, flicking James Franklin to square leg.

Of the 66 runs scored in the first hour, Tendulkar’s contribution was 47 and that clearly showed the mood he was in.

Dhoni was fortunate to find the first ball he faced take the edge and fall short of the third slip, but thereafter he settled down to play second fiddle to Tendulkar.

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