Mohammad Kaif remembers Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘desert storm’ hundred
On this date in 1998, Sachin Tendulkar slammed first of his famous ‘desert storm’ centuries against Australia in Sharjah.
Tendulkar’s knock of 143 runs in 131 balls, which came in the last league match of the tri-series also featuring New Zealand, was instrumental in helping India reach the final of the tournament.
And three days later, on his 25th birthday, the little master conjured up another sublime ton against the same opposition to fashion India’s title triumph.
As many as 20 years have passed since then, but Tendulkar’s knock remain etched in the memories of cricket lovers.
Recalling the master blaster’s Sharjah exploits, former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif took to Twitter on Sunday and thanked his former teammate for endowing fans with an unforgettable memory.
“20 years have passed since in the middle of a desert storm and a pulsating run-chase, @sachin_rt Paaji gave a generation of people a night they will never forget. One of the best nights for a cricket fan. Thank you Paaji. Whaadaplayaa,” Kaif wrote in his post.
HOW THINGS TRANSPIRED THEN
Batting first, Australia posted a mammoth 284/7 (in those days, anything close to 300 was considered a winning total) in the stipulated 50 overs with Michael Bevan scoring a classy hundred (101, 103b).
India then needed to either beat Australia or accumulate enough runs to go past New Zealand’s net run rate (NRR) to qualify for the final.
Though India lost wickets at regular interval, Tendulkar batted like he was in a different zone and single handedly took India close to the target.
In the end, India fell short of the revised target by 26 runs, but Tendulkar’s monumental efforts helped India surpass New Zealand’s NRR to set up a title clash with Australians.
During the chase, the game was halted at one point of time due to a storm. But, the real storm on that night came off Tendulkar’s willow.