On this day in 1998, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar had smashed his 14th ODI century against Australia to make sure that India qualify for the final match of the Sharjah Cup played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Irrespective of the time and medium, anyone who has watched Tendulkar’s innings can confirm that it was one of the greatest innings that he played during his international career.
After the then Australia captain Steve Waugh won the toss and chose to bat, Australia put on board 284/5 in 50 overs on the back of Michael Bevan playing exceedingly well for his 101 (103) with the help of nine fours.
DESERT STORM 🌪️ #OnThisDay in 1998, Sachin Tendulkar smashed a 💥 143 off 131 balls against Australia to seal India’s place in the final of the Sharjah Cup!
Do you remember the battle between these legends? pic.twitter.com/6SZVckZWwv
— ICC (@ICC) April 22, 2020
While India needed 285 runs to win initially, they required 254 runs to pin down New Zealand’s net run rate qualify for the final. There was not an iota of doubt that Tendulkar would have to lead India to the target and what happened is fondly remembered as history.
Tendulkar’s attacking instincts witnessed him going after the Australian fast bowlers from the word go. In addition to the usual quintessential shots played by the batsman, Tendulkar frequently stepped down the track to hit the opposition bowlers down the ground.
Sachin Tendulkar smashed 14th ODI century
Tendulkar, who was a couple of days short of his 25th birthday, completed his half-century in the 22nd over. Apart from India losing wickets at regular intervals, a desert storm affected their chase duly.
The revised target required India to chase a 276-run target in 46 overs. With Tendulkar and VVS Laxman coming out to bat, India needed to score 237 runs to qualify for the final.
It was in the 39th over that Tendulkar reached the three-figure mark amidst a sensational applause from the spectators who were watching a batting masterpiece in front of them.
Before getting out against Australia pacer Damien Fleming in the 43rd over, Tendulkar scored 143 (131) with the help of nine fours and five sixes and ensured that India qualify for the final.