Tendulkar misses out on 100th hundred in WCup semi
Sachin Tendulkar has set the stage for a glittering finale. Now
all he has to do is finish the job.
Pakistan’s clumsy fielding almost allowed the world’s greatest
batsman to post his 100th international century in the semifinal on
Wednesday. Instead, Tendulkar will target the milestone in
Saturday’s final against Sri Lanka in his hometown Mumbai.
The 37-year-old Indian opener, a sporting icon in his home
country, can’t have had many luckier innings than his 85 against
Pakistan, which played a major role in the World Cup co-host’s
29-run win over its bitter rival.
He was dropped four times, had an lbw decision overturned and
survived a close stumping decision before he was finally caught by
Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi at extra cover off the bowling of
Tendulkar was adjudged lbw to Ajmal on 23, but the Decision
Review System showed the ball would have gone on to narrowly miss
leg stump. He was almost out off the next delivery but just had his
toe on the ground when Kamran Akmal removed the bails in a decision
which also went to the TV umpire.
Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal all put
down chances when Tendulkar was on 27, 45, 70 and 81.
The packed, partisan crowd of 28,000 at the Punjab Cricket
Association Stadium briefly fell silent when Tendulkar drove
straight to Afridi before rising to applaud another crucial
Tendulkar, who has scored two previous centuries in the
tournament, also passed 400 runs at a World Cup for the third time,
joining Australians Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist in achieving
It was the latest in a long list of accomplishments for
Tendulkar, who has the most runs and centuries in both test and
one-day cricket. Up against him on Saturday will be leading test
and one-day wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan, playing in his final
match for Sri Lanka.
The ”Little Master” reached the World Cup semifinal with India
in 1996 and the final in 2003, but the trophy has remained out of
reach. Saturday’s setting could be no more perfect for his 100th
Given that India didn’t win either match in which Tendulkar
passed 100, his legions of fans might regretfully hope he falls