Cricket: Magnificent Tendulkar hits historic double century
Sachin Tendulkar revealed any thoughts of a double ton were pushed firmly to the back of his mind as he set about crafting the greatest batting display in one-day international history against South Africa in Gwalior yesterday.
The 'Little Master' smashed a sublime unbeaten 200 to record the first double century in a one-day match and power India to a series-clinching 153-run win over the Proteas.
The previous record for the highest individual score in an ODI was 194, a mark jointly held by Pakistan's Saeed Anwar and Zimbabwe's Charles Coventry; but Tendulkar wrested that honour for himself with a remarkable performance at the crease.
Tendulkar built partnerships with Dinesh Karthik (79), Yusuf Pathan (36) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (68) as India reached a mammoth total of 401 for three. "I'd like to dedicate this double hundred to the people of India who have stood by me no matter what for the last 20 years," Tendulkar said after the victory which handed India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
The 36-year-old claimed it was not until he was 25 runs short that he felt a double hundred was possible.
"I thought about the 200 mark for the first time when I was probably 175-plus and only 42 overs had been bowled," he said. "I felt I had a chance, but I didn't think of it seriously until I got really close. Only then I thought there was an opportunity to be had."
Tendulkar's previous best was 186 not out and he faced 147 deliveries en route to his historic double century, his knock interspersed with 25 boundaries and three towering sixes.
He already has a world record 13,447 runs in Test cricket and holds the record for most centuries in Tests. Tendulkar also has the record for the most runs in ODIs.
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