Tendulkar guides India to 258/9

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar's masterclass 91 helped India post a competative 258/9.

The Matser hit seven boundaries in his 121 ball knock before spooning a catch to Ponting at mid-off off Clarke. He was involved in two fruitful associatios. Firstly he shared a solid 94-run stand with Uthappa (30) for the opening wicket stand and then added a brisk 54 runs along with Yuvraj (38 off 38). Dhoni made run-a-ball 36.
Australia did well to peg tourists, who were cruising along at 200/3 in 38 overs, back in the last ten overs.
Part-time off-spinner Clarke was the pick of Aussie bowlers plucking three vital Indian wickets for 52 in ten overs. Bracken with his military medium pace and swing proved handy for the hosts in the final overs. The left-arm seamer accounted for three lower order wickets for a measly 31 runs in nine overs.
India, opting to bat first on a lively Gabba strip, made a solid start. Openers Tendulkar and Uthappa staving off the early scare took on to Aussie seamers. Tendulkar targetted Stuart Clark driving the right-arm seamer down the ground for boundary twice in a over. Uthappa then attacked the wayward Mitchell Johnson, the left-arm seamer bowled a flurry of wides on his home turf.
Tendulkar along with the make-shift opener Uthappa played out the seamers with ease. The duo never looked under any sort of trouble before Uthappa himself gifted his wicket playing a half-hearted pull off Clark only to find Hopes' safe pair of hands at mid-off.
The in-form batsman Gambhir failed to convert the start when he heaved a rank half volley straight to Johnson at long-on.
The next man in Yuvraj took to the Aussie attack from the word go. He was meddling the ball well and struck two massive sixes one over long-on off Clarke and the other a slog sweep off Symonds over mid-wicket fance. He tried one too many and threw his wicket in the process. Yuvi's run-a ball innings was studded with two hits to the fence and two over it.
Tendulkar played some untypical shots en route to his entertaining knock. The Master known for playing shots straight out of the books played some innovative shots - reverse sweep, paddle shot, upper cuts. He was cruising towards a well deserved 43rd ODI century before chipping a full length ball off Clarke to mid-off.
India lost way after the Tendulkar departure. Rohit, Pathan and Hrabhajan came and went in jiffy. However skipper Dhoni's rearguard action helped India post a comfortable total.

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