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On this day: Sachin Tendulkar's long wait for an ODI century ends

India Today logo India Today 09-09-2016
© PTI Photo

The year was 1994 and boy-wonder Sachin Tendulkar was already five years into his international cricket career. Cricket pundits and former greats were already in awe of the 'Little Master' from India, who made batting look ridiculously easy and that too at such an young age.

Tendulkar made his Test debut against Pakistan at Karachi in November 1989 and played his first ODI a month later against the same opposition at Gujranwala and was facing the likes of the fast and furious Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram. By the time he was 21, Tendulkar already had hit seven Test hundreds but it took him 78 matches score his first one-day hundred.

The wait finally ended on the September 9, 1994, when a 21-year-old Tendulkar scored 110 off 130 balls against Australia at the iconic Premadasa stadium in the third match of the Singer World Series, also featuring Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Tendulkar's innings was a mix of aggression and control as he smashed his first fifty in just 43 balls and then played a sensible knock from there on but was finally dismissed by a Craig McDermott yorker as India posted 246/8 in 50 overs after electing to bat first. Tendulkar had also got good support from his partners at the other end. He first stitched an 87-run stand for the first wicket with Manoj Prabhakar (20) and then put on 42 and 44 runs with Navjot Singh Sidhu (24) and Mohammad Azharuddin (31) respectively. When he finally got to the triple figures, with a square-cut off Shane Warne, he had his childhood friend and then teammate Vinod Kamble with him for company.

© AP Photo

Australia, in their reply, were bundled out for 215 with Prabhakar picking up 3 wickets while Rajesh Chauhan got a couple as India won the match by 31 runs. Steve Waugh (61) and David Boon (40) had stitched a 67-run partnership for the third wicket which threatened to take the game away from India for a brief period but once they were dismissed the rest of the Aussie batsmen collapsed in a heap.

Tendulkar took five years and 75 innings to hit his first ODI ton but from there on he was unstoppable. From his debut in November 1989 till 5th September 1994, Tendulkar had made 2126 runs at a respectable average of 32.71 with 17 half-centuries to his credit. But after that knock he made 48 more hundreds in 385 ODIs and scored 16,300 runs at a staggering average of 47.11 with 79 half-centuries.

The Master Blaster also breached the 100 international centuries mark with 51 tons in Test cricket and thus, etched his name in the history books as one of the greatest batsmen to have ever played the game.

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