Reliving Sachin Tendulkar's ODI centuries: 6-10
The legendary Indian batsman was at his scintillating best in 1996.
In what was a glittering career spanning between 1989 and 2012, Sachin Tendulkar metamorphosed himself into becoming the epitome of consistency and longevity in the annals of ODI cricket. 18,426 runs from 463 matches at an impressive average of 44.83 and splendid strike-rate of 86.23 stand as apt vindication of his unparalleled prowess in the format's history.
Tendulkar hammered as many as 49 centuries and 96 fifties in his memorable career. Continuing from last month's segment which reminisced his first five tons, let us relive the batting maestro's sixth to tenth ODI hundreds. All five of those particular centuries came in 1996 against various teams spanning across different tournaments.
#6 - 137 (137) against Sri Lanka at Delhi, 1996
After steamrolling Kenya and West Indies, India's campaign in the 1996 World Cup hit a stumbling block when they ran into a confident Australian unit. Eager to return to winning ways, Mohammad Azharuddin's team took on a Sri Lankan outfit who were the beneficiaries of a couple of walk-overs.
In front of a sell-out crowd at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to chase. Ravindra Pushpakumara got them off to the perfect start by removing Manoj Prabhakar early in the piece. But Tendulkar batted fluently and anchored India's innings. He stitched vital partnerships with Sanjay Manjrekar as well as Azharuddin. The star batsman completed a sublime century before being run-out in the end overs. In all, his run-a-ball 137 contained 8 fours and 5 sixes.
Despite being confronted with a formidable target of 272, Sri Lanka cruised to a comprehensive victory. Swashbuckling opener Sanath Jayasuriya set the tone by smashing a 76-ball 79 before the cool heads of Arjuna Ranatunga and Hashan Tillakaratne completed the run-chase.