On This Day: A Birthday Special From Sachin In Sharjah


As the ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar turns 49, we take you back in time to 1998 to an epic final of the tri-series in Sharjah that saw one of the finest knocks ever played by one of the greatest batters the world of cricket has witnessed. Oh the best part? The ‘Little Master’ was celebrating his 25th birthday that day.

It was on this day in 1998, that a rampant Sachin Tendulkar put on a show against the dangerous bowling attack of one of the most dominant forces in world cricket, Australia’s Damien Fleming, Michael Kasprowicz and Shane Warne for 12 fours and three towering sixes, en route to his game-winning knock of 134 off 131 balls.

After a terrific 143 off just 131 balls against the same opposition in the penultimate ODI of the tournament, a determined Sachin Tendulkar & Team India were facing Australia again in the final.

Half-centuries from Steve Waugh (70) and Darren Lehman (70) helped the Australian set a 273-run target for India to take the cup.

Sourav Ganguly opened the batting alongside an in-form Sachin and the pair took off in no time, taking India off to a decent start before Fleming dismissed the left-hand batter. Joined by Nayan Mongia in the middle, Sachin added a steady 89-run partnership and reached his half-century off 47 deliveries. Sachin and skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, who followed next ensured India never went out of the chase as the batters kept the scorecard moving on par with the required run rate.

Sachin’s agile and classy knock hit three figures in the 37th over of the game as he reached his 15th ODI hundred. This was Sachin’s second ODI hundred on the trot in less than 48 hours time!

The Little Master’s stunning effort with the bat ended after Kasprowicz caught him leg-before off the third ball of the 45th over. The applause at the end of the knock did not stop as almost every fan knew that they had witnessed a once in an era knock by the Little Master.

Azharuddin’s 58, Ajay Jadeja (11*) and Hrishikesh Kanitkar (6*) saw the game through for India. His battle with the-best spinner in the world, the late Shane Warne will still be fresh in the memories of every Indian cricket fan.

The Master Blaster’s terrific run with the bat in the tournament ended with him being named the Player of the Match in the last two games and taking home the Player of the Series award as well.

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