Tendulkar’s ton gives India 2-0 lead over New Zealand

March 8th, 2009 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Christchurch, March 8 (IANS) Sachin Tendulkar smashed his 43rd one-day century as India won a thriller in a high scoring match against New Zealand in the third one-day international to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the five-match series at the AMI stadium here Sunday.
Man of the match Tendulkar smashed 163, his maiden in New Zealand, before being retired hurt as India scored a mammoth 392 for four, the highest score by any team in New Zealand. In reply, Jesse Ryder struck a breezy 105 to bring New Zealand closer but the home batting folded at 334 in 45.1 overs.

Indian batsmen, specially Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh (87) took advantage of the short boundaries and spanked the New Zealand bowlers to all parts of the ground after New Zealand’s stand-in captain Brendon McCullum opted to field. Tim Southee had to suffer the wrath of Indian batsmen as he gave away 105 runs from his 10 overs.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori missed the game to attend the birth of his first child in Auckland.

Tendulkar, during his 133-ball inning, hit five sixes and sixteen fours while Yuvraj changed the complexion of the game with his breezy 60-ball inning that was studded with six sixes and ten boundaries.

Tendulkar and Yuvraj shared a 138-run stand for the third wicket. The 35-year-old former captain also had a 135-run stand with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (68) to help India post their highest one day score against New Zealand.

It was also the highest one-day score by any side in New Zealand, surpassing the 350 for nine the home side scored against Australia in Hamilton in February 2007.

Suresh Raina smashed an unbeaten 38, which included five sixes, from 18 balls, in the last few overs to put up the huge total.

Virender Sehwag departed early after he was bowled by Mills for three, while Gautam Gambhir was caught by wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan off Ian Butler for 15.

But Tendulkar, Yuvraj and Dhoni made a mockery of the New Zealand bowling attack and punished them harshly with their brutal play. Tendulkar and Yuvraj racked up 69 runs in a batting power play from the 23rd to 27th overs.

Yuvraj was cruising towards a well deserved century but was well caught by McGlashan, who was standing up to medium-pacer Grant Elliott. McGlashan, playing his second ODI, missed an easy stumping chance to get rid of Dhoni off Jeetan Patel when the Indian captain was on five.

Elliott also dropped Tendulkar when the batsman was on 122. The batting maestro finally retired hurt after he pulled a stomach muscle.

In reply, McCullum (71) and Ryder gave New Zealand a near perfect start. But a poor call from Ryder left McCullum short of his crease with the team’s total at 166 in the 22nd over.

Birthday boy Ross Taylor (7) also found himself short of the crease with an excellent effort from Yuvraj. The dismissal triggered a batting collapse as the hosts lost six wickets for just 39 runs.

Then some big hits from Kyle Mills (54) and Southee (32) took New Zealand to sniffing distance. But Yusuf Pathan stepped in in the midst of the 45th over to replace Munaf Patel, who had to be removed for bowling two consecutive beamers, to remove Mills caught by Zaheer Khan. In the next over, Praveen Kumar took a simple catch off his own bowling to see the end of Southee and pack up the New Zealand batting.

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